NAC to fly to Osaka from February, Guangzhou from March
Kathmandu, November 22
Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), which has been facing severe criticism from various quarters for its failure to operate its wide-body aircraft in a full-fledged manner, today said that these long-ranged planes will start flying to Japan from February and to China from March next year.
Madan Kharel, executive chairman of NAC, informed The Himalayan Times that the bilateral talks with the aviation authorities of Japan and China have been positive and they will allow Nepal Airlines to fly to their countries within the next few months. “If everything goes as planned, our A330-200 aircraft will operate regular flights to Osaka, Japan from February and to Guangzhou, China from March,” he informed.
As per Kharel, NAC’s first priority would be to start flights to Osaka followed by Guangzhou.
NAC has already sought aircraft operation permits from the aviation authorities of Japan and China. Kharel informed that both the Japanese and Chinese authorities are positive towards giving flight permits to Nepal Airlines in their nations.
As per Kharel, NAC delegations will leave to Japan and China within the next two weeks to finalise the deal with aviation authorities of these two nations.
The national flag carrier has spent almost Rs 24 billion to add the two wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft to its fleet. While the first Airbus A330-200 aircraft was added to NAC’s fleet on June 28, the corporation acquired the second long-haul aircraft on July 26. However, NAC’s failure to fly these aircraft to long-range destinations has been raising quite a few eyebrows after the operation of these aircraft to short-haul destinations depleted the corporation’s coffer.
In fact, the corporation has made earnings worth Rs 264 million through the operation of the wide-body planes between August 1 and September 15, while it has incurred an expenditure of Rs 756 million for their operation in the said period. This is primarily because NAC has not been able to make optimum use of these wide-body aircraft and is flying them to short destinations like Delhi, Doha and Bangalore, suitable for narrow-body aircraft.
However, Kharel vowed that NAC will fly to various other long-haul destinations through its wide-body aircraft in the near future and improve NAC’s financial condition.
Meanwhile, NAC is also preparing to review its business and marketing plan soon. As per Kharel, business plans for wide-body aircraft operations will be reviewed within the next couple of weeks setting up different commercial targets and adopting measures to capitalise on them.