Monday, July 1, 2013

Apart from new aircraft, reform must to keep NAC afloat

Buying new aircraft alone cannot save the ailing national flag carrier, according to the experts.
Addressing the 55th anniversary of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), here today, they were little hopeful of keeping the corporation afloat with the new aircraft as much as the need of organisational reform of the corporation that has become fragile due to regular political bickering and over staffing, apart from lack of fresh blood with new vision, mission and goal.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ram Kumar Shrestha, on the occasion, said that the corporation must reform itself to remain afloat in growing competition among the international and domestic airlines or it would die.
He also suggested the corporation to buy two more wide body aircraft to compete with the growing international aviation industry.
Likewise, secretary at Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Sushil Ghimire also claimed that two wide body aircraft would help expand the ever shrinking market of NAC.
However, the corporation has last week signed Purchase Agreement for two narrow body aircraft with Airbus expecting to regain its lost glory.
According to Ghimire, the Tourism Ministry has also formed a committee to bring organisational reform at NAC.
The corporation is also planning to bring two aircraft on dry lease by the end of 2013 for international flights and purchase two MA-60 and four Y-12 aircraft from China for domestic flights and also to expand its fleet that has been shrinking recently.
NAC has been surviving on two ages old Boeing on international route and one aircraft on domestic route. Of the two Boeing, only one can be on operation as the other one is on maintenance, alternatively. 
With addition of two narrow body aircraft from Airbus, NAC should also plan to fly to the US and Australia and restart its flights to Sanghai and Frankfurt, suggested the employees, on the occasion.
Once upon a time, NAC used to fly Boeing 757-200 aircraft to Frankfurt in 1987, to the United Kingdom in 1989 and to Paris in 1993. It also used to fly to Mumbai in 1992, Banglore in 2000, Osaka in 1994 and Sanghai in 1994 during its heydays, when it used to have a fleet of 20 aircraft including two 757 Boeing, two Boeing 727, three Avro, 10 twin otter and three Pilatus porter aircraft, according to the corporation.

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