Flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC)’s Boeing 757 which the corporation had retired around mid-march is set to be auctioned.
More than 3 decades old aircraft with call sign ‘9N-ACB’ Gandaki was retired last month and the corporation was set to go in process to sell the aircraft.
As per an airline official, the board has decided to auction the aircraft as the aircraft maintenance cost was expensive and had been grounded for long time. However, the board is going to take decision from Tourism Ministry (MoCTCA) for the process.
Ministry on the other hand has stated that NAC has freedom to take decision and has full authority to make decision regarding the corporation as a whole and does not require approval from the ministry whereas the corporation has decided to seek for approval so as to avoid any possible debate in future.
The only left vintage Boeing 757 ‘9N-ACB’ Gandaki had been operating 3 weekly flights in Malaysia and Delhi at its final days of operation and was sent for repair and maintenance at the end of October last year and encountered defect in its windshield while returning in mid-January. Since then the aircraft has not been operating and was grounded even though the problem was secured.
NAC has also terminated Pilot Proficiency Check (PPC) Certificate of all the 757 pilots. Similarly, most of the crew of Boeing have retired and some crew who were dual rated have been shifted to Airbus family.
NAC with its Boeing operated flights to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Dubai and SAARC countries including Maldives, Colombo, Dhaka, Karachi, Myanmar, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Osaka, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai.
The airline retired the aircraft so as to focus the airline only in Airbus fleet and at present, NAC operates international flight operation with 5 aircraft, 2 Airbus A320, 2 Airbus A330 and a Boeing 757(now retired).
NAC bought two Boeing 757s in 1987 from an American Company with the purpose of operating long haul and then operated it for more than 30 years. NAC is phasing out Boeing aircraft and slowly procuring Airbus aircraft.
The corporation decided to sell Boeing 757 stating need of extra human resource to operate and maintain aircraft of 2 different companies and Airbus being relatively easy to operate and maintain.
When the Boeing 757 ‘9N-ACB’, the last Boeing aircraft of NAC, gets sold, it will mark the end of the Boeing era in Nepal that began nearly five decades ago.