Nepal Airlines seeking companies for leasing its Chinese aircraft

Posted on by Biju Shrestha

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is in the process to lease out its 6 Chinese aircraft as it is expecting interest from some companies either national or international. The national flag carrier is in the process to lease all the Chinese manufactured aircraft after they have been incurring losses to the airline.

NAC currently owns 2 MA-60 and 4 Harbin Y-12e Chinese aircraft and among them, 1 MA-60 and 3 Y-12e are in operation. The corporation reached this decision to lease the aircraft due to lack of pilots to operate Y-12e aircraft, though operating MA-60 was not a problem.

The corporation has been incurring more than Rs 300 million losses yearly from the Chinese aircraft. The government purchased Chinese aircraft with the aim of providing effectual air service to the people of the Himalayas and the hilly regions. However, unsuccessful attempt to hire foreign pilots led the corporation to take the decision to lease the aircraft stated corporations spokesperson Rabindra Shrestha.

Upon talking with Mr. Shrestha, he stated that they are leasing all 6 aircraft and some domestic airline have shown interest. Yeti Airlines is reported to have shown some interest but while talking with Media manager of Yeti airline Mr. Bhim Raj Rai, he stated that no formal approach has been made to lease NAC’s planes. News published in some media about Yeti airline showing interest in leasing may be delusive, adds Mr. Rai.

NAC is generating profit from international flights and ground handling services with 5 aircraft in operation collecting more than 7% international market share, however, the domestic sector has not been beneficial for the corporation thus, the decision to lease the aircraft was taken.

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