Home Travel News | Agni Air to resume operations
Agni Air to resume operations

The cash-strapped airline, Agni Air which was on the verge of closing down has announced that it would resume operation by the second week of March. Agni Air which has been grounded since November, 2012 after it failed to pay its outstanding dues to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), made the announcement on Sunday.

Sudhir Basnet, chairman of the airline, said the airline will be flying the sky by mid-March at a press conference in the valley. Agni Air, which owes a total of Rs 800 million, including Rs 650 million, payable to different commercial banks, has been leased to Shivam Investment. Other dues include salary of employees, fuel bills of Nepal Oil Corporation, and landing and parking fees of CAAN.

As per the agreement, Shivam Investment will pay Rs 680 million to the promoters for the lease period.

Agni Air which was among the top three carriers till 2011 saw its market share dwindle from the beginning of 2012. According to Basnet, the airline was facing loss of Rs 60 million every three months.

Before the signing of the lease contract with Shivam Investment, promoted by a group of pilots, Agni Air had initially planned to sell its entire property, including aircraft, at Rs 1 billion, which did not materialize.  “As we are not in a position to operate the airline, we felt leasing out would be the best option,” Basnet was quoted as saying.

The airline presently has five aircraft -- three 29-seater Jetstream 41s and two 19-seater Dorniers. However, except for one Dornier all other aircraft are in need of maintenance. “Shivam Investment has already started repairing the aircraft,” he added.

The airline in its hey days was operating flights to eight destinations, including mountain flights.

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