Guna Airlines’ license on the verge of cancellation « Khabarhub
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Guna Airlines’ license on the verge of cancellation

03 November 2023  

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KATHMANDU: Even after six months of the suspension of the Airline Operation and Authorization Certificate (AOC), the license of the private airline company Guna Airlines is now at risk of being canceled as the company has shown no interest in resuming its operations.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the country’s aviation regulator, the AOC remained suspended for more than 6 months without any indications of being reinstated.

The Authority halted all flights of Guna Airlines indefinitely in March 2023 due to the deepening economic crisis, which made it impossible for the company to even pay its employees’ salaries.

Gyanendra Bhul, the Information Officer of the Authority, stated that since the AOC wasn’t reinstated within the 6-month suspension period, it has now moved towards the cancellation stage, with discussions for the necessary procedures already underway.

Guna Airlines has failed to settle its outstanding dues with the Authority.

The outstanding amount owed by Guna Airlines to various airports, including Tribhuvan International Airport, totals around Rs 60 million.

In response to the extended delay in payment, the Authority has withdrawn the bank guarantee of Rs 1 crore provided by Guna Airlines when it defaulted on its dues six months ago.

“The bank guarantee was withdrawn due to the prolonged delay in settling the outstanding amount,” Information Officer Bhul said.

Since the AOC suspension, no representatives from Guna Airlines have approached the Authority.

The Authority has verbally declared its intention to sell all five Jetstream aircraft it owns after the cessation of flights.

While Guna has been in talks with various foreign companies for the sale of their aircraft, no final agreement has been reached yet.

Renewal of the AOC is also essential for any potential aircraft sale or future operations.

However, due to the prolonged non-payment of dues, the authority is considering revoking the AOC.

The Authority clarified that although they aim to avoid canceling the AOC, the legal process for cancellation will proceed after the 6-month suspension period.

Currently, Guna Airlines possesses five ‘Jetstream’ and two ‘Beechcraft’ aircraft.

The tourism sector, already reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recession, has been further impacted by the airline’s predicament.

The higher operating costs of the Jetstream aircraft, coupled with the ongoing economic crisis, prompted the owner of Guna Airlines to contemplate selling these aircraft and acquiring an ‘ATR’ plane.

However, due to the financial constraints, the aircraft remain grounded at the airport.

This has resulted in accumulating parking charges, insurance premiums, and arrears even while the aircraft are not in use.

In the event of the AOC being revoked, it does not signify the end of the company’s ability to operate.

Publish Date : 03 November 2023 10:01 AM

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