Royal Nepal Airlines' nosedive has come to this: cancelling its trunk routes at the beginning of the autumn tourist season. European routes, Singapore and Dubai were haemorrhaging cash and have been stopped. A tourism slump after the royal massacre did take its toll, but the airline suffers from chronic political interference and mismanagement. The two jets it had leased have been returned, and the airline is now down to just two 757s. They have to service 24 weekly flights to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Osaka, Delhi, Bombay and Bangalore. One way Royal Nepal can stay afloat is to invest in another jet immediately for the tourist season. Given the political sensitivity of such a move, it is difficult to imagine it happening. RNAC knows which plane it needs, but government officials will want to make the decision so they can pocket a kickback. It is such malfeasance that has ruined the airline.
In 1991, Royal Nepal had 19 aircraft, including four jets and a fleet of ten aircraft for its domestic routes. Today it has just seven operational aircraft. Fleet size has shrunk, but staff has grown. No surprise, then that the airline is in deep red. Total debts:Rs 2 billion.