(Nepal Airlines today celebrates its 59th years of the of its commercial flight operation at Tribhuvan Army Officers’ Club, Sundhara, Kathmandu. )
Nepal Airlines Corporation today enters the 60th year of its establishment completing 59th years of its commercial flight operation service. The airline company is the National Airliner which carries the national flag in its livery. Nepal Airlines is exclusively retained by Government of Nepal whose pivot is Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). The ground handling at TIA is performed by Nepal Airlines. The airline company is also one of the two international airliners serving passengers outdoors i.e., internationally serving domestic as well as international passengers. It is also the only airline company which consists two Airbus A320-223 and two Boeing 757 making it the biggest airline company in Nepal so far.
Coining about its history, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) was originally known as Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation (RNAC) and founded on 1st of July, 1958. Nepal Airlines had instigated its commercial operation with one Douglas DC-3 Dakota having seating size up to 28 and conducting flights to Pokhara, Biratnagar and Simara as domestic service whereas Patna, Calcutta and Delhi of India as International Service.
However, in past years of its establishment the national flag carrier failed to make any meaningful progress. It had no adequate aircraft to cater international services. The Nepal Airlines Corporation situation that worsened with the advent of democracy in 1990 due to corruption has now been improved. Similarly, Thai Airways that was established on the same year the Nepal Airlines was established has emerged as one of the major air services of the world having a big fleet of aircraft.
NAC operated further eight diverse kinds of aircraft in the past. Some of them are still in provision. Currently, NAC operates 5 different types of aircraft. Among them, two are Airbus A320’s; two are Boeing 757’s, three DHC-6 Twin Otter, two Xian MA-60 and two Harbin Y-12e.
Working hard, Nepal Airlines has successfully marked as an ISAGO (IATA’s Safety Audit for Ground Operation) certified company on March this year from International Air Transportation Agency (IATA) after the carrier fulfilled the IATA Standard Requirements for Ground Operation. Till date, only 222 ground handling companies including Nepal airlines have been ISAGO certified by IATA.
NAC now is now on the final phase of acquiring its wide body aircraft Airbus A330-300. On June 16 this year, Managing Director of NAC Sugat Kansakar released the information, “We dispatched Rs8 billion for purchasing A330s at 14:27 local time today with the support of Ministry of tourism and finance, Rastra Bank, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Citizen Investment Trust (CIT).” to buy wide body aircraft.
Since, from the establishment of Nepal Airlines, NAC has passed through several tragic incidents that has arouse question upon the safety records of it. Around 126 people have been killed till last air crash of Nepal Airlines. There is several weak point and hindrances inside NAC and the nation free regulatory organ CAAN due to which air crashes are in increasing trend. Failure to maintain ICAO standard safety records are weak point of almost every airlines of Nepal. Every year aviation of Nepal passes through such tragic air crashes. The airline company has also secured on the first position of carrying maximum number of international passengers within this year.