Hoping to give a boost to the Nepal Tourism Year 2011, the national flag carrier is flying both of its aircraft from the January end as its one of the aircrafts that was sent to Israel for C Check will return by then.
The aircraft that is in Israel for C Check also had a problem of crack in the engine. "The engine was flown to Spain for maintenance," said a source at the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC). "We have paid the Spanish company for the maintenance of engine that will fly to Israel in a couple of days."
"The engine will be fixed in the aircraft in Israel," he said, adding that the aircraft will, then, be back to Kathmandu by January end.
The NAC's Boeing 757-9N-ACB aircraft discovered a crack in two of the 70 Outlet Guide Vanes in the engine of the aircraft in October.
The crack was discovered during regular check-up that is conducted after a 500 hours of flight of an aircraft. The maintenance of the engine cost the airlines Rs 240 million d for the C Check Rs 260 million.
"We have prepared the new roaster including the flights of both aircraft," said the NAC source.After the airlines was left with only one aircraft, it was forced to reduce its international flights by a half on New Delhi, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Dubai-Doha routes due to lack of aircraft. The ailing airlines has to compete with over two dozen international airlines with its age-old two Boeing 757s.
Though, NAC desperately needs new aircraft for its survival, all its purchase deals have been controversial leading the aircraft to almost closure.
NAC had decided to buy a wide-body and a narrow-body aircraft from European manufacturer Airbus. It had planned to purchase a A330-200 — a wide-bodied aircraft with a seat capacity of 279 — and a narrow-bodied A320-200 with seating capacity of 150.
But the government’s anti-corruption watchdog has last month started the action against the NAC chairman Sugat Ratna Kansakar for sending the lock-up money to the Airbus to book aircraft. The case is under the Commission for Investogation of Abuse of Authoprity (CIAA) at present halting the process of buying new aircrafts for the time bring, though the travel and tour operators including the private sector have been repeatedly asking the government to buy new aircraft as soon as possible.