Nepal Airlines Corporation defends its Airbus A330 purchase agreement

-KATHMANDU

The stated owned carrier, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is defending its purchase agreement of two long range Airbus A330-200s due for delivery in June and July 2018, as a report from the Office of Auditor General stated the airline purchased the two aircraft illegally by violating Financial Bylaws.

The carrier has accused of using an agent or a mediator to purchase the A330s and for issuing a global tender instead of a direct one via Airbus. NAC calls the report baseless, and denies it used a mediator.

Nepal Airlines will take the delivery of two A330s from an order placed by Hifly (Portugal), as part of a foreign consortium led by AAR (US) that also includes German Aviation Capital. The aircraft serials are 1845 and 1854.

Spokesperson for NAC, Mr. Rabindra Shrestha said, “The agreement cannot be said to be done through a mediator as we have signed the agreement with consensus among all the three companies.” The A330s, originally due by March 2018, are expected to fly to Tokyo and Seoul.

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Meanwhile, the report also states that the corporation had been operating Chinese-made MA60 aircraft incurring losses of Rs66.7 million annually, while it loses from the Y12e amount to Rs39.4 million. “The corporation does not seem to have made a solid working plan to operate these aircraft at a profit,” the report said.

Even though the corporation has aimed of flying 9,168 flights in the domestic sector annually, it has been operating 4,538 flights only. The corporation’s expenditure has increased which has resulted in less income, the report said.

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