Air Service Agreement department from Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) informed that the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) will be unable to conduct flights to American destinations as there is no any initiations made yet.
Nepal doesn’t have air service agreement with United States of America as per the existing Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) records of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). And the preparations for doing so has not been started yet.
Nepal has signed Bilateral Air Services Agreements and MoU with 38 different countries since 1963. The landlocked Himalayan country has adopted a liberal sky policy in 1992 since then it is gradually pursuing an open sky policy in accordance to the civil aviation policy 2006.
An official from the ministry said that the management strategy of NAC is too weak and as of now they are not being able to conduct flight smoothly at the existing destinations and are also falling behind in generating ample revenue. So, addition of destinations like New York and London is beyond expectation at the moment. NAC must improvise their strategy and pre-plan well for conducting flights to the new destinations, added the official.
NAC has already planned to introduce New York and London route after the arrival of two wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Spokesperson for NAC Mr. Rabindra Shrestha said that the necessary procedures for adding the destinations will be initiated after the arrival of the wide-body jets however, critics from the aviation industry of Nepal are not convinced about the statement of the national flag carrier.
Nobody is seen to be concerned about supporting the national flag carrier. NAC on one hand says that they will be progressing their plans but doesn’t execute it on time with attentiveness whereas on the other hand the ministry level officials claims the NAC’s plans is a deception or just a bluff. At the current scenario, every concerned authorities are required to participate and take a keen interest towards improving the national flag carrier.
NAC received remaining two new 17-seater Harbin Y-12e aircraft from a Chinese manufacturer on April 17 which now makes a total of 6 such model aircraft. But the corporation has not been able to utilize the aircraft properly as most of the time the Chinese aircraft remain grounded at the hangar due to numerous reasons such as lack of pilots, frequent technical problems and so on.
The corporation is expected to take the delivery of one Airbus A330-200 wide body by the first week of June, 2018 whereas another A330 will be received after one month of the arrival of the first one.
NAC has announced to increase flight frequencies to major destinations like Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Doha. Also, it has planned to launch flight operation to four new long-haul routes namely Seoul (South Korea), Tokyo (Japan), Dammam (Saudi Arabia) and Sydney (Australia) after the arrival of A330s aircraft.