State-owned Nepal Airlines has finally decided to sell its troublesome Chinese planes and spare parts after nobody came forward to lease them despite a deadline extension. Plagued by breakdowns and lack of pilots, the three 17-seater and two 56-seater aircraft had turned into “the most expensive white elephants in the carrier’s history” right after they arrived, officials said. On September 14, the national carrier put the Chinese planes up for lease. Prospective bidders were given an October 31 deadline. As there were no bids, the deadline was extended until November 16. “We didn’t get a single bid during the extended time either,” said Archana Khadka, spokesperson for Nepal Airlines, reports The Kathmandu Post. “Now the management has decided to sell them off.” Except for operating services to a few airports in the Tarai plains, these aircraft spent more time on the ground than in the air even in operating hours, and they were becoming a financial stress to the debt-ridden national flag carrier. The planes have been grounded for more than two years.
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