Nepal’s Yeti Airlines took to the skies with its first commercial flight more than two decades ago and currently has a fleet of six ATR planes.
At least 68 people were killed when a Yeti Airlines passenger plane with 72 people on board, including five Indians, crashed into a river gorge while landing at the newly-opened airport in central Nepal’s resort city of Pokhara on Sunday, officials said.
The airline, which connects different destinations in Nepal, operates only ATR 72-500s. Each 70-seater aircraft is a twin-engine turboprop powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW127 engines and are equipped with Hamilton Sundstrand composite blade propellers, according to its website.
The carrier, which has cancelled all regular flights for January 16 in the wake of the accident, started its first commercial flight in September 1998 with a single Canadian built DHC6-300 Twin Otter aircraft.
“Serving Nepal for over two decades, we operate ATR 72s in the major cities of Nepal,” says the website.
Flight tracking website Flightradar24 said the aircraft involved in the crash on Sunday is a 15-year old ATR 72-500 with registration number 9N-ANC and serial number 754.
This aircraft was equipped with an old transponder with unreliable data. “We are downloading high resolution data and verifying the data quality,” it said.
According to Yeti Airlines’ website, in 2009, its sister airline Tara Air was established to take over the Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) operations with the DHC6-300 and Dornier DO228 aircraft fleet.
“The two airlines together continue to provide the largest network of flight routes throughout Nepal”.
As one goes into the homepage of the website, a notice pops up in mourning of the people who died in the crash.
“In mourning for the passengers who lost their lives in the accident of Yeti Airlines 9N ANC ATR 72 500, we would like to inform you that all regular flights of Yeti Airlines for 16th January 2023 have been cancelled. However, emergency and rescue flights will resume.
“We apologise for the inconvenience caused,” the notice said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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