Nepal Airlines marches one step further for two wide body aircraft’s purchase
12 September 2016 – Kathmandu
The national flag carrier of Nepal, Nepal Airlines takes one more leap for purchase of 2 wide body aircraft of Airbus 330-200 series after the Nepal Government stays guarantee for the necessary sum of 25 Billion Nepali Rupees. The equivalent amount procurement from Provident Fund and Employees investment as a loan is in rapid progress. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mr. Krishna Bahadur Mahara made a commitment to Tourism Minister Mr. Jeeban Bahadur Shahi this Sunday about the investment.
Director of Nepal Airlines Mr. Sugat Ratna Kanshakar expressed his positive vibe and believes that with the commitment of Finance Minister, it door to welcome the two wide body aircraft has been opened. He also told that the first wide body will be welcomed around September 2017 and the second six months later with this plan. The airlines is planning to buy Airbus 330-200 series aircraft of Airbus that will have capacity of 250 to 280 seats for flying the long sector routes. The last two jets delivered by Nepal Airlines are also produced by Airbus. The two 320-200 series aircraft have capacity of 158 seats. Nepal Airlines also has 2 jets from Boeing of 757 series which are 3 decades old one of which is already in the retirement process. These aircraft were manufactured in America and have capacity of 190 seats.
Before this, the Employee’s Provident fund had provided a loan of Rupees 10 Billion to buy the two Airbus 320 series aircraft. The Employee’s Provident Fund and Employee’s Investment Fund are ready to provide the sum of 25 Billion for which the interest rates are yet to be discussed according to Mr. Kanshakar. The wide body aircraft going to be introduced can fly 9 to 10 hours nonstop for long haul routes. Therefore, the first flights of this aircraft will be focused for Tokyo, Japan or Seoul, South Korea routes.
The airline is preparing to announce Global tender next November for purchase of the two aircraft within 3 months of the tender release to all the leasing company, international airlines as well as Airbus itself. It will not prefer Airbus 330-200 aircraft manufactured after 2014 and will go for aircraft that flew for only few hours.
Nepal Airlines has already operated in the long haul routes of London-United Kingdom, Frankfurt-Germany, Osaka-Japan, and Shanghai-China. The wide body aircraft will be slowly focused in these routes later. Nepal Airlines also targets to claim 16 percent of the international market share by adding 2 other Airbus 320 series aircraft soon after the addition of 2 wide bodies by making the number of fleet size 8 for international flights.