The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has grounded Simrik Airlines (RMK, Kathmandu) as of Tuesday, August 20, after the airline failed to meet local Civil Aviation Regulations governing aircraft airworthiness.

The Himalayan Times newspaper said the move came after a CAAN audit of the airline on August 18 and 19 revealed that it had continued to use substandard spare parts in its Beech 1900Cs despite similar findings in 2018.

“Basically, we have two levels of inspection findings — level I and level II. Earlier, the aircraft was in level II, so we directed the company to do the required maintenance works. However, this time the inspection finding was at level I. Thus, the flights have been suspended,” a CAAN official told the newspaper on condition of anonymity.

The two turboprops will remain grounded until the airline replaces the affected spare parts and conducts the required maintenance of its aircraft, the regulator said. However, prior to resuming commercial flights, it will have to seek further clearances from the CAAN.

Established in 2009, Simrik Airlines operated domestic flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara, and Bharatpur as well as sightseeing flights. Its fleet also includes a fixed-wing division consisting of three Eurocopter AS350s and one Bell Helicopter 407 all of which are based in Nepalgunj.