Kathmandu, June 26
Five months after grounding of its B757 Boeing, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has finally called a tender notice today for auction of the aircraft.
Following a long discussion whether or not to sell the aircraft named ‘Karnali’, the NAC management has decided to auction it. Purchased 32 years ago in 1987, Karnali has the capacity of carrying 190 passengers.
While the management was deliberating on repairing and putting the aircraft back in service, selling it seemed like a more prudent option, as per NAC.
“As the maintenance cost of the aircraft is too high, it was decided to auction it,” explained Navaraj Koirala, spokesperson for NAC.
The board meeting held on March 15 had taken a decision to auction the second Boeing aircraft, he added. The interested buyers have to submit their proposal within 45 days from today (August 9).
The first Boeing 757 – 200 9N-ACA aircraft was also auctioned by NAC. The first Boeing had touched down in Kathmandu in 1972. With a capacity of carrying 123 passengers, it connected Kathmandu with regional destinations and remained in service until 1993.
Once the second Boeing is also auctioned, NAC will have a fleet comprising 13 aircraft, of which two are MA 60, four Y12E, two Airbus A320-200 narrow-body and two Airbus A330-200 wide-body and three Twin Otters. Meanwhile, NAC is also planning to bring six new twin otter aircraft to replace the existing three twin otter planes.
NAC is planning to operate Airbus aircraft for its international flights. At present, the NAC is operating international flights to New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangkok and Qatar. Likewise, NAC has recently received approval to operate flights to Japan.
Meanwhile, efforts are underway to expand NAC’s direct services to China, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia.