After more than 3 decades of ruling over the Nepalese sky, flag carrier Nepal Airlines (NAC) only left vintage Boeing 757 aircraft has been retired by the corporation.
The only left vintage Boeing 757 ‘9N-ACB’ Gandaki, after 31 years of service was retired around last week by the airline so as to focus the airline only in Airbus fleet. The airline is expected to go in tender process to sell the aircraft.
The aircraft had been operating 3 weekly flights in Malaysia and Delhi at its final days of operation. The aircraft 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 ever since 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.
Captain Rabindra Shrestha, who is one of the most senior pilot and best pilot with flying hours of 37,000 hours in skies and 44 years of service to Nepal Airlines also retired last week due to dismissal of 757 after spending 31 years in Boeing 757.
The airline has previously evaluated the aircraft at 62 crore Nepalese rupees as per consultant company from Singapore. As per the evaluation report prepared by the Fintech consultant company, the only left Boeing 757 ‘9N-ACB’ can be sold at the maximum value of Nrs 62.09 crore and minimum value of Nrs 50.8 crore.
Three international companies: Flight global of Singapore, FinTech of Switzerland and International aviation group of UK had submitted the proposal for evaluating the last Boeing with the corporation.
NAC has previously stated that the repairing of Boeing has been expensive thus has opted to sell the aircraft.
Boeing enthusiast have shown dismay towards airline not performing retirement flight of the aircraft as the aircraft has have operated large number of international market during its tenure.
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.
At present, NAC operates international flight operation with 5 aircraft, 2 Airbus A320, 2 Airbus A330 and a Boeing 757(now retired).
Out of two 757, the first Boeing 757 one with registration ‘9N-ACA’ nicknamed ‘Karnali’ has already been sold to BB Airways last year aircraft to operate international cargo flights. The aircraft still stays grounded inside premises of TIA with its future unknown as the failure of the company to bring the aircraft back in operation ended the hope for it to fly again and the aircraft is now waiting to be scrapped after its 3 decades dedicate service to Nepal Airlines.
NAC had asked for approval of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) on December to sell the aircraft.
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.