THT 10 years ago: Fishtail all set to fly again

Kathmandu, January 5, 2007

Fishtail Air is all set to resume its operations in February. Citing a fall in demand for chartered services and a sharp decline in the inflow of tourists to Nepal due to security reasons, Fishtail Air had suspended its operations in September 2003.

The airline has already finalised a deal to bring in an Ecureuil helicopter for its rotor-wing operations. “We have decided to resume our air operations after taking the country’s favourable political climate into account,” Bikas Rana, chairman of Fishtail Air told this daily.

He expressed optimism that the airline would be able to perform better in the aviation sector considering the ongoing efforts for the peace process. “We are optimistic that the renewed hope for permanent peace and tremendous possibilities of increasing tourist arrivals in the country will be favourable for us,” Rana said .

To begin with, Fishtail airline will operate chartered and rescue flights with its six-seater “light utility” Ecureuil helicopter and then purchase another helicopter after six months, said Rana. “We have finalised the deal of purchasing the first helicopter from a French celebrity,” he said declining to disclose the actor’s name.

The chopper is expected to arrive in Kathmandu next month. Fishtail Air had suspended its operations in September 2003 citing a fall in demand for chartered services and a sharp decline in the inflow of tourists to Nepal due to security reasons.

Nepal, India to share power

Four transmission lines will be laid across the Nepal-India border shortly to facilitate power-sharing between Nepal and India.

A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed today between the Nepal Electricity Authority and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) of India.

Managing director of the NEA, Arjun Kumar Karki, and DK Mittal, managing director of the Indian company, signed the agreement. “The transmission line, which will connect four stations in each country, will facilitate power-sharing between the two countries,” said Danda Pani Basyal, an officer at the Nepal Electricity Authority.

On the one hand, it will help Nepal export excess electricity. On the other, it will also provide Nepal with a means to import electricity from India whenever there is shortage of power.

“Though we often talk about importing and exporting electricity with our neighbour, we cannot do so as we cannot implement the Power Purchase Agreement due to lack of transmission lines,” he said. More transmission lines may be laid as per the need.

The transmission line will connect Butwal with Gorakhpur, Duhabi with Purnia, Dhalkebar with Mujaffarpur and Anarmani with Singudhi. Basyal added that joint companies will be instituted in both countries for laying the transmission line.