Nepal Airlines to suspend flights next week

By NNN-Xinhua

Kathmandu : Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is suspending all its international flights from Tuesday for 13 days as its lone functional Boeing flies off to Brunei for a C-check, a complete overhaul. The airline’s other Boeing aircraft is grounded because of a faulty engine, according to The Kathmandu Post on Saturday.

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“We will be removing the engine from the jet that is going away and fit it to the grounded aircraft and have it in the air from Jan 1,” NAC managing director Gautam Das Shrestha told the parliamentary Public Finance Committee Friday.

According to Shrestha, the corporation earned revenue of 1.004 billion rupees (238,095 U.S. dollars) from its international flights during the first four months of the current fiscal year starting in mid-July. NAC conducts 11 weekly flights to six countries and regions.

At the meeting, parliamentarians underscored the need to reform the national flag carrier and operate it under the concept of public-private partnership. The NAC management kept the engine lying in China’s Hong Kong for over 20 months without getting it overhauled as it wasted time in an effort to fulfil its “vested interests”.

In a controversial deal last month, the troubled carrier finally awarded a contract to overhaul two Boeing 757 engines, one lying in Hong Kong and the other in Brunei.

During the last four months, NAC has been able to put only a single aircraft on its international service when foreign airlines have been rushing into Nepal’s skies lured by increasing traffic.

Responding to the stream of holidaymakers travelling to Nepal since the end of the conflict, the number of world airlines connecting the Himalayan nation has doubled during the last 13 months. Many carriers have also expanded their frequency recently, the daily said.