NAC under pressure as Boeing 757 goes for maintenance

6th Jul, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, July 6 : Nepal’s national carrier, Nepal Airlines is sure to face aircraft shortage and most probably the flight cancellations as ts Boeing 757, which is being sent away for a maintenance check, has fallen through.

NAC had planned to lease an Airbus from Bhutan Airlines, but the Civil Aviation Policy prohibits imports of pressurized aircraft that are more than 15 years old, and the Bhutanese jet is 17 years old.

NAC had been conducting a technical assessment of the tender submitted by Bhutan Airlines. When the corporation sought permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan) to sign the lease, the civil aviation regulator said that the proposed deal violated the Civil Aviation Policy.

There were only two takers when NAC invited bids for the wet lease of an Airbus A319, A320 or A321 -- Ukraine-based aircraft leasing company 12 Star Aviation and Bhutan Airlines. NAC said that a temporary replacement was needed so that flight schedules would not be affected when its Boeing is sent away in mid-July for a maintenance check lasting 45 days. The proposed wet lease contract would begin on July 16 and last for 45 days. It can be extended to 60 days, NAC said.

The corporation plans to operate scheduled flights with the leased aircraft on the Kuala Lumpur, Doha, Delhi and Bangalore or other sectors. “The second bidder’s offer had to be rejected as it was not technically qualified,” said an NAC official.

On April 10, the corporation put one of its two Boeing 757s up for auction. The second Boeing has been grounded, and it is due to be sent away for a maintenance check in two weeks.