Some ten pilots of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) are reportedly planning to join foreign airlines because of better deal. Professionals in other sectors, too, are attracted to brighter prospects. But more significantly, this is yet another indicator of the national flag carrier’s chronic illness. More serious than their probable resignation is the reported ‘job guarantee’ that the NAC management is said to have offered to ten fresh candidates having no basic pilot training credential. This not only does not contribute to NAC’s service quality but also enhances the possibility of more mishaps with more airlines in the fray. The worry becomes far greater in the context of the findings that virtually all plane crashes in Nepal are blamed on human error.
NAC, unquestionably, is in dire need of an overhaul. Though the airlines has shrunk to two Boeings and four operational Twin Otters, NAC continues to keep in its employ some 1,500 men and women. This situation must change and a concrete plan made to revamp the sick state-owned airlines. With competition getting fiercer day by day, the tardiness in implementing reforms is harming NAC’s competitive viability. Though several commissions were formed to recommend ways to turn NAC around, no government has made any serious effort to salvage the situation. Sitting on problems will only complicate matters. The soon-to-be-formed interim government should, therefore, introduce solid reforms, including private participation, to boost the competitiveness and profitability of NAC and other such ailing corporations.