NAC fails to increase allowance of pilots

9th Mar, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, March 9 : Nepal Airlines Corporation again have failed to pass the proposal of increasing the allowance of pilots. NAC who always have operated in lack of pilots only have three pilots to fly the two Chinese aircraft brought to Kathmandu last month. On the other hand, the NAC doesn't have enough pilots to fly the three bigger aircraft for international flights.

NAC announces vacancy for pilots almost every month. "Whenever the NAC announces vacancy for pilots, the private airlines increase the salary and allowances of pilots and engineers," says managing director of NAC, Sugatratna Kamsakar. Currently, the NAC is trying to procure two wide body aircraft. The NAC which has 74 pilots at present will need at least 104 pilots once it buys two wide-body planes.

As the private airlines offer better salaries and allowances, pilots have been leaving the NAC almost every year. The NAC had proposed to increase the salary and other benefits of the pilots but the finance ministry sent the proposal back to the civil aviation minister, the line ministry of NAC. Kanmsakar said that NAC will always suffer from human resource crunch as long as it does not increase the salary and other benefits of the employees, especially pilots and engineers.

Some time ago, the NAC had proposed increasing the allowance of pilots and engineers by 200 percent. The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation had forwarded that proposal to the finance ministry. But the finance ministry rejected the proposal and returned it to the tourism ministry, arguing that there was no need to hike the allowances. However, Kansakar says that it's going to be tough to retain pilots and engineers if their salary and allowances are not increased.

NAC pilots get around Rs 100,000 to 200,000 a month as salary and allowances whereas the pilots of private airlines get up to Rs 500,000 per month. On the other hand, the NAC pays USD 11,000 per month to foreign pilots. As per the rule of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a pilot cannot fly for more than 50-60 hours a month. To operate its regular flights , the NAC is in a compulsion to hire more pilots and engineers even if that requires increasing the salary and allowances.