The Airbus A320 with registration ‘9N-AKW’ belonging to Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is scheduled to come back into operation from tonight as the engine replacement procedure has already been accomplished.
The aircraft departed to Seletar Airport, Singapore on 8th February from Delhi as a ferry flight for the necessary maintenance protocols. The engine replacement was done yesterday and required test flight will be conducted today.
As per the information, the aircraft is scheduled to return back to Kathmandu tonight and will conduct flight to Kuala Lumpur shortly after the arrival.
NAC has leased engine from International Aero Engines (IAE) with estimated cost of Rs1.5 crores per month. IAE will also repair the faulty engine of ‘9N-AKW’ for which the engine will be carried to New Zealand. The date for the repairing of the engine has been allocated on 27th of February.
The aircraft will be in operation with the leased engine as the maintenance of the faulty engine will require considerable time (at least 4 months), said NAC’s spokesperson Rabindra Shrestha. The cost required for the repair of the faulty engine is unpredictable, added Shrestha.
After the inspection team declared the engine requiring to be replaced, NAC had choices to buy new or second hand engine, repair the faulty one or lease from other companies. With these available choices, the corporation chose to lease engine.
The national flag carrier has already received hefty loss of around Rs100 million monthly following the long time grounding of A320. Now, the return of the grounded aircraft will decrease the loss however, profit will not be generated as expected due to the operating cost of leased engine.