Nepal Airlines (RA, Kathmandu) is planning to employ international managers in an effort to move away from a culture of poor management and steady losses, OnlineKhabar has reported. Executive Chairman Madan Kharel said that the flag carrier would sign a contract with an international management company and that the new partner would lead some of the departments at the company.

In particular, the airline is looking for leadership in its operations and engineering departments, but the hired international team will also have the power in its contract to keep an eye on other departments, Kharel said.

Nepal Airlines Corporation recently created a committee to finalise the contract, work that is expected to be complete within ten days. It will then be submitted to the cabinet through the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation for approval. The hiring process will take about three months, Kharel said.

The company has reportedly been considering outsourcing some of its managerial responsibilities for a long time, but it was only after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli urged it to hammer out concrete plans for reform last week that the issue is now being taken up.

Addressing the 61st anniversary of the national carrier on July 1, the PM said that the corporation had become “critically ill”. “How to make Nepal Airlines a success is a big question,” he said, as reported by the Kathmandu Post. “The corporation is in a coma, and its turnaround will not be easy.”

In late June, the Nepalese government rescheduled interest payments on debts owed by Nepal Airlines to state-owned institutions as part of the ailing carrier's turnaround strategy. The airline is currently saddled with NPR40 billion rupees (USD362 million) in debts to state-owned entities and must pay NPR3.7 billion rupees (USD34 million) in annual interest alone.