Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NAC wants to lease one aircraft for international flight

The national flag carrier is seeking to lease one aircraft from January for six weeks as one of its Boeing is going for a regular C check to Israel.
"Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is sending its Boeing for a regular C check," executive chairman Sugat Ratna Kansakar said adding that an aircraft will be leased to maintain the scheduled flights and reliability of the carrier.
The aircraft is required to operate flights from its Kathmandu base for the Kathmandu-New Delhi-Kathmandu sector everyday and Kathmandu-Dubai-Doha-Kathmandu four times a week. "Since it will still be the tourist season, we do not want to disturb the schedule," he added.
However, NAC managing director Captain K B Limbu thinks that it is not economically viable to lease an aircraft for a short term. "It's not necessary to lease aircraft for a short term," he said adding that NAC can fly its passengers on another low-cost airlines for six weeks.
Kansakar explained that if it will not be economically viable, NAC may rethink the leasing idea.
NAC has asked for an aircraft that should not be older than 15 years from the date of manufacture on Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (wet lease) -- ACMI -- basis for six weeks begining January 3 with a total number of 375 guaranteed blocks hours during six weeks.
The interested parties should send their offers with detailed specification, manufacturing date, configuration, present registration number, valid insurance, present owner, present operator of the aircraft and ACMI rate per block hour within November 12, said NAC.
The aircraft should have 150 to 200 seat capacity and delivery and re-delivery of aircraft will be in Doha. "The national flag-carrier will decide whether to lease or not on the basis of ACMI rate per block hour," Kansakar said.
NAC is connected to 10 major cities around the globe and flies to 30 destinations domestically. It has two Boeing 757-200 aircraft -- Karnali and Gandaki -- since the 1980s. It has always been in controversy while leasing aircraft.
However, it has recently decided to buy two aircraft -- a wide body A330-200 with a seat capacity of 279 and a narrow body A320-200 with 150 seat capacity -- from the European manufacturer Airbus soon.
Currently, around two dozen international airlines are flying to Kathmandu and the ailing national carrier has been limited to its few destination due to lack of aircraft and over-politicisation of the management. It is facing troubles on the international and domestic fronts too as its domestic fleet has six Twin Otter Aircraft with 19-seat capacity but only four of these are operational.

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