Nepal's Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has rejected a request from Guna Airlines (RMK, Kathmandu) to reinstate its suspended air operator's certificate (AOC) in exchange for the carrier starting to make instalment payments on monies owed.

The local-language Capital Nepal news outlet reported that Guna Airlines wanted permission to import three ATR - Avions de Transport Régional turboprops for a restart after the NCAA grounded it in early 2023 over financial and safety concerns. Among the outstanding financial matters is NPR60 million rupees (USD450,000) owed to the NCAA for aviation-related charges. Guna had also proposed paying this down in instalments, something it had previously agreed to do but failed to make good on.

The NCAA rejected the requests, instead saying enough time had expired since it grounded Guna Airlines that it was time to think about cancelling the AOC, rather than merely suspending it. NCAA spokesperson Gyanendra Bhul said Guna would not get its AOC back while it still owed money. He added that employees, who are now owed salaries for more than one year, will also need to be paid.

Separately, Guna's operating licence, distinct from its AOC, has also expired, although the airline is believed to be making more headway into getting that reissued.

Before it ceased operations, Guna Airlines operated flights between Kathmandu and Bhairahawa, Bharatpur, Nepalgunj, Pokhara International, and Tumling Tar using a fleet of two Beech 1900Ds and five Jetstream 41s. The airline's owner, Kathmandu businessman Rajendra Shakya, is keen to swap out the Jetstreams, acquired from Yeti Airlines (YT, Kathmandu), for ATR types.

Meanwhile, two Nepalese rotary wing operators are also trying to get the NCAA to lift AOC suspensions. Mustang Helicopters and Manang Air have parked their aircraft, Mustang because it couldn't meet payroll and Manang because of a July 2023 weather-related crash of its Airbus Helicopters H125 near Mount Everest that killed six people. Mustang is now under new ownership and is looking to reboot the business, while Manang has acquired a new helicopter and is finalising its certification with the Nepalese authorities.