October 21: Saurya Airlines has signed a partnership deal with India’s Kuber Group after almost ten months of remaining inactive. After acquiring a new business partner, the airline company has also received permission to operate flights effective from October 21.
The Indian company owns 49 percent share of Saurya Airlines while the remaining 51 percent stake belongs to the Nepali shareholders.
As per the existing laws of the country, foreign companies cannot own majority shares of any company operating in Nepal. Therefore, Saurya Airlines has kept majority share of 51 percent while making the Indian company its business partner, informed Gopal Bhattarai, managing director of Saurya Airlines.
“We were facing problem to implement new plans due to financial crisis. So we signed a partnership deal with a reputed Indian company. We are now hopeful of making an impact in the domestic market as well as the regional market in the near future,” said Bhattarai.
Bhattarai claimed that Saurya Airlines has become the first airline company in Nepal to acquire foreign business partner. Kuber Group invests in real estate and tobacco business in India.
According to MD Bhattarai, Saurya Airlines will be providing its services through three aircraft for the time being while it is planning to procure a new ATR aircraft soon. He says that the operation of ATR is cost effective in Nepal and the plane is also suitable for Nepal considering its geography.
In total, Saurya Airlines is planning to add five more aircraft to its fleet.
The airline company has already procured a 50-seater Canadian Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft during the lockdown period.
Although the company has received permission to operate 10 flights per day, Saurya Airlines is planning to operate one flight each with its three aircraft per day for the time being, informed the company’s spokesperson Mukesh Khanal.
According to Khanal, two of their three aircraft are currently being repaired.
Saurya Airlines, which came into operation in 2014, was sold by the establishment faction to new owners within four years of operation due to financial crisis. The new operators have collaborated with the Indian company for effective operation.
Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines and Shree Airlines are the three major companies operating flights along the trunk route in Nepal. With the revival of Saurya Airlines, the domestic airline market of Nepal is expected to become more competitive.