Air Dynasty acquires new chopper

KATHMANDU: Air Dynasty Heli Services has added a brand new AS 350B2 helicopter to its existing fleet of three choppers.

The new chopper was acquired from Eurocopter South East Asia, Singapore, and was ferry flown in here yesterday. Looking into licence issue and permit will be sorted out today, and the AS 350B2 will start its operations from tomorrow.

"The chopper business is most lucrative only during peak tourist season, which would be March to May in the early half of the year and October to December in the latter half," said Phintso Ongdi Lama, managing director of Air Dynasty.

Helicopters in Nepal are mainly used for speedy rescue operations by tour operators. Very few people charter a chopper for leisure or domestic use, "Less than one per cent of the domestic market uses chopper facilities in the country," added Lama.

Himalayan Rescue Association of Nepal (HRAN) manages about a hundred rescues a year. "We use helicopters when we can but most helicopters are used by expatriates and touring agencies," said Prakash Adhikari, CEO of HRAN.

Air Dynasty has been in operation for the past 17 years with immense experience. It is a firm believer in the idea that the organisation is to lend not only for pleasure trips but to extend services like emergency, rescue and medical evacuation flights to those who require it.

"Our new machine is more powerful than the old ones and can scale a height of 20,000 feet while other helicopters in the country can go up to only 16,000 feet," said Lama.

Nepal boasts of ten choppers including Air Dynasty choppers. According to Lama, his fleet can do about 4000 hours. "Even pilots from abroad get shocked when we tell them that our choppers can do about 4000 hours. We have a lot we can boast about," said Lama.

Air Dynasty is a joint venture company with Malcolm Smith, who is a British national and the company chairman also.