Thursday, January 26, 2017

NAC receives China-made aircraft after 33 months

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) today evening received the second China-made MA60 aircraft – after 33 months of receiving of the first MA-60 – as part of a six-aircraft deal between Nepal and China.
The 56-seater aircraft landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) today evening, according to NAC general manager Sugat Ratna Kansakar. "With a call sign of 9N-AKR, the aircraft has been named ‘Fewa’ after the famous Fewa lake of Pokhara," he said, adding that the aircraft was flown by Captain Gopal Singh Bista from Kunming of China to Kathmandu via Dhaka of Bangladesh.
Senior officials of NAC and the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation were at the airport to welcome the new aircraft that was flown from Dhaka of Bangladesh by Nepali crew members.
The Chinese side has agreed to provide the spare parts and technical support in Kathmandu itself.
With the addition of the new plane, the national flag carrier now has five aircraft – two MA60, two Twin Otter and an Y12e – in its domestic fleet. "Another aircraft Y-12e will also land this Tuesday," Kansakar added. The NAC has planned a schedule of 32 flights with the addition of the new aircraft in the domestic fleet. "We hope to increase our domestic market share significantly," he said, adding that with the arrival of Y12e this Tuesday, we can plan more domestic flights.
The delivery of the aircraft had been stalled after issues appeared in the first batch of China-made aircraft that arrived in 2014. There had been repeated technical problems with the first two China-made aircraft.
In November 2013, the Cabinet had gaven the go-ahead to the government to sign loan and grant agreements with China to procure six aircraft to enhance the domestic fleet of NAC.
China has provided one MA60 and one Y12e worth Rs 2.94 billion as gifts. The other aircraft are being bought with a soft loan of Rs 3.72 billion provided by China’s EXIM Bank.

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