Flights to Korea by NAC become dubious after failing to improve security

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) had been talking about operating direct flights to Korea since long ago from the time of procurement process of 2 wide body aircraft. Although NAC planned to conduct direct flights to Saudi Arabia and Japan, it has not been able to conduct it.

Sugat Ratna Kansakar, former General Manager of NAC had been working with Korean Aviation Authority for flight operation to Korea. The South Korean team from Korea Office of Civil Aviation (KOCA) were planned to arrive in Nepal for “Safety Audit” of NAC at the end of the August 2018 before approving the corporation’s proposal of Kathmandu-Seoul flights. The Korean authorities have asked NAC to improve the flights security by showing the weaknesses prior to the audit. In addition, KOCA in the letter said that looking at the current flight security of the corporation, KOCA will not be able to help in flight Safety Audit.

First Airbus A330 -243 ‘Annapurna’ with registration ‘9N-ALY’ of NAC landed at Kathmandu on June 28, 2018 that started its commercial operation to Doha from 1st August 2018 and expanded its destination.

Second Airbus A330 Makalu “9N-ALZ” touched down on July 14, 2018. After a few weeks, the corporation received Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and commenced its first commercial flight to Bangkok on August 24, 2018.

Currently, both A330s are operating flights to its old destinations New Delhi, Bangalore, Doha, Hong Kong and Malaysia. A330s have already completed 5 months of commercial operation however still have not been able to make flights to Korea.

A few days ago, NAC published a letter where it has mentioned that it will take longer than 4 months to make flights to newer destinations by its wide body aircraft.

The weaknesses of NAC have not been able to satisfy the authority. In such conditions, allowing foreign aviation authority to audit flights security could make negative impression about flight security of Nepal.

Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) informed the corporation about its weaknesses on September but sadly the corporation has not provided any information about its improvement. CAAN has decided not to agree to provide assistance to KOCA for Safety Audit until the corporation does not come up with improvement of flight operation.

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