National Flag Carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is preparing to send $68.20 million (approximately Rs 6.81 billion) which is the remaining money to pay for its first new Airbus 330-243 wide-body aircraft.
The payment is to be done to the escrow account held by Norton Rose Fulbright in Europe for the aircraft that is due to arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) on June 27.
NAC had already paid $39.50 million (Rs 3.95 billion) as pre-delivery fee and $500,000 (Rs 50 million) as commitment fee for each Airbus 330-200 wide-body aircraft last year and earlier this month it had forwarded proposal to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) for the facility of foreign exchange to make the payment to which the ministry had forwarded the letter to the Nepal Rastra Bank requesting to provide the foreign exchange facility.
NAC had signed the agreement with AAR Corporation to buy two Airbus 330-200 series wide-body aircraft worth $209.6 million which is stated to be one of the largest ever aircraft purchase deals in Nepal’s aviation history. The aircraft was provided by the AAR in partnership with German Capital and hi-Fly.
Managing Director of NAC Sugat Ratna Kansakar stated that the corporation has already paid the commitment and pre-delivery fees to AAR and the process of making full payment has begun. As per agreement of NAC and AAR, the full payment has to be done 2 days before the aircraft are delivered and the corporation has planned to pay remaining money for the second aircraft by end of July.
The 1st aircraft is programmed to arrive in Kathmandu on June 27 while the 2nd one is expected to be delivered a month after.
For the purchase of the new A330-200 wide-body airplanes, the corporation has borrowed Rs 12 billion each from Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Citizen Investment Trust (CIT) at 9% interest per annum to be paid within 15 years.
The first commercial flight via the 274 seater wide-body aircraft is scheduled to be to Dubai on August 1. NAC currently operates international flights via two narrow-body Airbus aircraft and one Boeing 757.