China-made MA60 aircraft is scheduled to land at the Tribhuvan International Airport at 12:10 pm tomorrow, a day behind schedule.

The arrival of the first of the two 56-seater turboprop-powered airliner Modern Ark (MA) 60 will be a historic as the national flag carrier is getting a new aircraft for domestic operations after 28 years. “The delivery was delayed due to documentation process,” said spokesperson at the Nepal Airlines Corporation Ram Hari Sharma.

Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal issued No Objection Certificate for the aircraft at 4:30pm today. Under the revised Air Operator Certificate Regulation 2012 (AOCR 2012), CAAN first issues the No Objection Certificate and then the Air Operator Certificate after operators acquire aircraft.

Due to delay in issuing the aircraft registration number, the MA60 will be arriving with Chinese – SXA-1131 – registration number. The CAAN, after conducting a test flight of the aircraft, will issue the Air Operator Certificate and the registration number, according to the national flag carrier that is planning to conduct test flights to Bhadrapur, Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Dhangadhi before starting commercial operation. “The commercial operation will start after a week of the test flights.”

On April 3, China Aviation Industry Corporation had formally handed over one of two MA60 aircraft to the Nepal Airlines that is expected to receive six Chinese-made aircraft – two MA60 and four Y12e manufactured by Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation – later this year.

The domestic aircraft-less national flag carrier is expected to receive one of the four Y12e aircraft on June 30 and the rest by September 30.

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