Shree Airlines (N9, Kathmandu) has been so far unsuccessfully trying to obtain approval from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) to add a maiden Dash 8-400 for the last five months and is currently unable to put its international expansion plans in place, Aviation Nepal has reported.

The Nepalese regional specialist originally intended to use the maiden Bombardier turboprop on international services to cities in India. According to the ch-aviation capacity module, the airline currently operates an exclusively domestic network. It applied for an international permit in December 2017, just four months after launching fixed-wing operations.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has stalled the application to add the Q400 to the carrier's Air Operator's Certificate (AOC). The authority has argued that it lacks trained staff to conduct safety and maintenance checks of Q400s and has instead recommended Shree Airlines to add either jet aircraft or Avions de Transport RĂ©gional turboprops.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, there are currently no Q400s in the Nepalese registry. Two carriers - namely Buddha Air and Yeti Airlines - use a total of eleven ATR turboprops.

Shree Airlines has, however, been intent on adding a Q400 since, in terms of its fixed-wing fleet, it is currently a Bombardier-only airline and operates two CRJ-200s and two CRJ-700s. The airline has reportedly offered that it will help the CAAN train its staff.