Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Airbus indicates to jack up prices of aircraft

The visiting Airbus team has informed Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) that the prices of aircraft have gone up in the last four years since it signed agreement in 2009.
Airbus will supply two narrow body aircraft by the end of 2014, if NAC agrees ‘to pay increased factory expenses’ as the current price of the aircraft has gone up since 2009, when an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two companies. Besides, the deal itself has undergone change,” the team has informed the NAC officials during the presentation here today evening.
Though, the team will formally inform the corporation tomorrow during the talks, they have indicated the increased price of aircraft in last four years during today’s presentation, said a source at the NAC.
Earlier the deal was for one wide body and one narrow body aircraft. Now NAC is seeking two narrow body aircraft
“They are ready to supply two aircraft, but with changes in the price as manufacturing cost has increased, according to them,” said the source. “If the government agrees to the revised terms that include increased factory cost, Airbus will supply the aircraft by the end of 2014.”
Airbus had quoted $41.28 million for a narrow body aircraft and $92.84 million for a wide body aircraft in the 2009-deal.
The talks team will submit its report to the NAC board tomorrow. “The board could approve the proposal and forward it to the ministry for the final approval from the cabinet,” the source added.
Earlier, the government had decided to buy eight aircraft, including two from Airbus and six from China’s AVIC Holdings.
NAC had planned to purchase one A 330–200 wide body and one A– 320 single aisle aircraft for its international fleet and signed an MoU to this effect in 2009.
A three-member sub-committee held talks with Airbus representatives yesterday and today.
The corporation had been mulling which of the options would be best: to call a fresh global tender as per the direction of the cabinet for two new aircraft or continue with the Airbus agreement.
NAC has been witness to decline in its international passengers over the last decade as it has had to cut its flight frequency due to insufficient aircraft to manage passengers.
Earlier, NAC enjoyed around 30 per cent of the total market share of international flights to Nepal. The only national flag carrier had to cut down its flights and frequency due to lack of aircraft and to manage operational costs.

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