China has delivered over 50 aircraft to eight Belt and Road countries including Nepal by April, 2018. The latest two Y-12E aircraft were delivered on April 17 to Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), where they will be used for STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) operation. Belt and Road countries cover China, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central and Western Asia, Middle East and Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Nepal had previously bought two Y-12Es in 2014 and 2017, respectively. As per the Chinese manufacturer AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) Co Ltd, the two aircraft successfully recorded more than 1725 safe flight hours.
With the addition of the two 17-seater Y-12e planes to its fleet, the NAC has completed taking the delivery of all six Chinese-made planes as part of a deal between Nepal and China.
NAC had signed an agreement with AVIC International Aero-Development to procure six aircraft — two 56-seater MA60 and four 17-seater Y-12e in November 2012. Nepal acquired the six Chinese aircraft, two in grants and four in loans.
The HAIG, based in northeast China’s Harbin, is a components supplier for international aviation enterprises such as Boeing and Airbus, and has independently developed a variety of aircraft, including helicopters and light regional aircraft, the report said.
The high wing two-engine Y12 series aircraft is light and general purpose and can be used for both passenger and cargo transportation as well as parachute jumping and touring.
The HAIG has sold Y12 series aircraft to more than 30 countries and regions around the world, including the United States and Russia.
Likewise, China has already delivered 57 MA series regional aircraft to 18 Belt and Road Countries by the end of 2017. The manufacturer claimed that the MA series aircraft have been operating in more than 200 air routes and have already transported 11 million passengers.
National flag carrier of Nepal operates trunk route flights with two MA60 series aircraft. “The MA series has earned a reputation for safety and economic efficiency among operators in Belt and Road countries,” said Zhang Guangjian, chairperson of AVIC International.