A Nepal Airlines (RA, Kathmandu) spokesperson has said selling five unwanted turboprops is the next best option if a bidding process to lease the planes out fails. Archana Khadka told The Kathmandu Post that per the Nepali Ministry of Finance's instructions, the state-owned airline is now trying to dry lease the planes out but "if there are no takers - we'll go for the second option."

As reported by ch-aviation earlier this week, Nepal Airlines has initiated a bidding process to lease out two MA-60s and three Y12s after sitting parked in a corner of Kathmandu Airport for over two years.

"We followed the Finance Ministry's instructions,” said Khadka. "Out of the two options recommended by the Finance Ministry dry lease or outright sale, Nepal Airlines will try the first one," However, given the state of the planes, some local airline insiders doubt the lease bidding process will attract much interest.

Saying it was the right decision to try to offload the aircraft, Ashok Pokhrel, a former board member of Nepal Airlines, said, "I doubt companies are interested in flying them.” He added that the planes were okay to fly but remained susceptible to corrosion while sitting idle at Kathmandu. The newspaper reports moss covering some parts of some planes and some visible signs of corrosion and rust on the metal surfaces and parts of the aircraft.

"It was a management problem that the shiny new planes never flew for the purpose they were brought," said Pokhrel, with another unnamed current Nepal Airlines official saying that "Nepal Airlines management changes faster than its decisions. There is no stability in the office, and the decisions are unstable as well."

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, despite being around for almost two decades and with generous Chinese government incentives, only a handful of civilian operators have ever taken on the Xian Aircraft Company MA60 turboprop. JoyAir in China has 24 while the dormant SN Air Congo has four lying idle. Camair-Co has two in its fleet while Air Zimbabwe still has one out of an original three (although also mothballed). Massawa Airways in Eritrea also has a single MA60 in its fleet although it is also believed to have seen very limited use despite being delivered back in 2013.

For their part, the Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation Y12s are still a popular Chinese geopolitical tool in the South Pacific where they remain in service with Lulutai Airlines, Air Kiribati, and Caroline Islands Air.