MIDWAY: Crying shame

The Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is known to hit the media headlines for wrong reasons. It’s in the news this year too. Just in case word has not spread around why, here is the update: Come December, it will be without both the Boeings for two weeks.

Stranger still is the way the crying shame is being presented as a mere technical snag. The instance of both the Boeings falling into disrepair is being presented as a breakthrough recorded by its engineers. Worse, the arrangement to have them repaired smacks of another scam.

A responsible engineer of the airline only the other day shocked an unsuspecting colleague by saying that he had no knowledge about where the faulty parts of the aircraft have been taken for servicing. While this could be singled out as a classic case of “generalists” versus “specialists”, but that by no means sheds any light on the entire story. Nobody believes the airline is in safe hands in its diamond jubilee year.

More so amid all the chances of the number of aircraft likely to fall while replacements never come by. But that will not alter the destiny of those at the helm who can be compared with the mice inside a ball of cheese. The level of insouciance has always been high. Much like my colleague who came back shell-shocked that senior technical staff were no better informed than her, I had encountered an equally bizarre situation a decade ago.

Looking for a business story I had gone to its headquarters in New Road. I was pretty confident that I can dig out something or the other. But speaking with the benefit of hindsight I was blissfully unaware of the shock I was in for. I don’t now remember why but I had begun by asking the number of aircraft the airline had on that day. I was told that I had come to the Planning Division instead of the Marketing Division which should know it.

I took that in good spirit since the guilt of not knowing the number was gnawing me deep down. I hurried to the Marketing Division. That, too, did not help and I was told to go to the Accounts Department. Once there, I was told to go to the Operations Department. By now I had realised the futility of it all.