Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Nepal Airlines to auction second Boeing

Nepal Airlines is publishing an auction notice for its last Boeing 757 – marking the the end of the five-decade long Boeing era in Nepal – on Friday after its board has approved ‘in principle’ the proposal to retire the age-old American aircraft.
The NAC has formed an expert committee to auction the Boeing. “The auction notice will be issued on Friday,” a source at the Nepal Airlines informed. “It’s a long process,” he said, adding that the NAC will have to give 45 days for potential buyers to submit their bids.
The NAC was planning to auction its last Boeing after the arrival of the Airbus A330s last year but was delayed after the allegations of financial irregularities in the purchase of the wide-body jets.
Nepal Airlines was initially planning to retire its last Boeing 757 after C-check – which will cost Rs 250 million – as it can significantly affect the aircraft’s resale value but changed the idea though the Gandaki was due for a C-check in February-end.
The national flag carrier also plans to auction off the Boeing’s spare parts as it will now have an all-Airbus fleet. The state carrier has set the minimum sale price at $7.8 million for the 31-year-old vintage Boeing ‘Gandaki’ with registration number 9N-ACB and its spare parts.
The narrow body twin-engine jet is valued at $5.4 million out of the total sale price by the NAC, which is technically bankrupt even after buying widebody Airbus. The NAC has not been able to pay its installment of loan to the Employment Provident (Fund) and asking the Finance Ministry to rescue it by paying the installment.
Nepal Airlines Corporation – the then Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation (RNAC) – entered the jet age in 1972 by acquiring a Boeing 727. The first Boeing 757 named Karnali and bearing registration number 9N-ACA, arrived in 1987. Gandaki – the narrow body twin-engine jet – was delivered the following year in 1988. The NAC has already sold its first 757 ‘Karnali’ to BB Airways of Bhaban Bhatta, for $1.46 million in December 2017.
Nepal Airlines has decided to sell off both the 757s as they were no longer profitable to fly due to their high maintenance costs compared to the revenue they bring in.
According to Nepal Airlines, the Boeing 757 burns 4 tonnes of fuel per hour, compared to 2.5 tonnes for the Airbus A320 aircraft. The NAC – in the move to phase out Boeing and adding Airbus fleet – currently possesses two 158-seater A320 jets delivered in 2015, and two 274-seater A330 jets delivered in 2018, in its international fleet.

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