NAC marching towards business success

1st Jul, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, July 1: The national flag-carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is headed towards success after passing through various ups and downs in its nearly six decades long journey.

NAC, which is poised to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee anniversary, has presented its roadmap outlining its professional capacity despite the topsy-turvy political and socio-economic environment in the country.

This information was shared by NAC's senior management officials while addressing the NAC's 59th anniversary function here on Saturday.

The number of passengers travelling by the national flag carrier's international flights in the last five years has increased by 17.6 per cent. The number of passengers carried in NAC's international flights was 200 thousand 976 in 2012 which increased to 384 thousand 327 in 2016, whereas the number of passengers carried by all the airlines has only increased 4.7 per cent. In the period of five years, the market share has increased from five per cent and reached approximately 12 per cent, according to the NAC.

Similarly, the estimated number of passengers in the current fiscal year has increased by 24 per cent as compared to the last fiscal year. Twenty-six airlines are operating international flights in Nepal at present.

NAC's general manager Sugat Ratna Kansakar said the Nepal Airlines Corporation has been marching towards success of late despite the not so favourable political situation in the country and the limited means and resources.

"NAC is one among the 42 state-owned corporations. The NAC is currently competing with 26 foreign airlines worth trillions of dollars. We are climbing the summit of success. So, we cannot compare NAC to the airlines of other developed countries," he said.

Looking at the data in the last 10 years, the number of passengers travelling with NAC in the last eight years was constantly in the range of 200 thousand. This number increased to 384 thousand 327 after two A-320 airplanes were added to the NAC's fleet. The new A-320 aircraft is operating 10.6 hours a day on average, which is considered satisfactory in terms of 'legacy carrier' in the world.

General Manager Kansakar sees the need to improve the standing of the national flag-carrier, although this data shows that the NAC's status has improved.

According to him, even though the about 90 per cent share of total the international air travel business originating from the Tribhuvan International Airport is with the international airlines, the NAC should adopt the strategy of adding more aircraft in order to improve its present situation in the context of Kathmandu being the most expensive air destination in Asia.

The NAC officials agree that the corporation needs to increase its capacity and improve its management to stand in the competitive market.

NAC asks for 20 billion with government

Meanwhile, the NAC Board of Directors has, through a decision, written to the government to manage Rs 20 billion capital in order to make the national flag-carrier economically capable and sustainable.

"We have already send Rs 8 billion to the aircraft supplying companies as first installment for purchasing two wide-body aircraft. Once the aircraft arrive, the productivity capacity should be enhanced and we have requested to the government to invest Rs 20 billion for this. The government has responded in the positive," General Manager Kansakar said.

The NAC has also moved forward works related to management reform and improvement of technology and human resources along with the aircraft purchase.

Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Shankar Prasad Adhikari, who is also the NAC Board chairman, said that the Ministry is preparing to write to the Ministry of Finance for providing Rs 20 billion as demanded by NAC.

NAC Deputy General Manager Ganesh Bahadur Chand urged the government to provide customs waiver to the NAC in the purchase of the two wide-bodied aircraft.

Senior vice-president of the NAC authorized trade union Rishikesh Panthi, senior vice-president of NAC Employees Association, Ataullah Ansari and general secretary of NAC Employees Organization, Raju Shrestha spoke on the need of enhancing the capacity of the corporation's employees and making the management efficient for leaping the corporation's business.

Uddhav Ghimire, the captain of Y-12 aircraft, who provided outstanding service to the NAC was honoured on the occasion. NAC is currently operating international flights to eight destinations.