According to the agreement between Nepal and Chinese government, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is set to receive two new Chinese Y-12e aircraft as they will land this Tuesday at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). As per the agreement, 6 aircraft were to be bought by NAC among which 4 have already been bought.
NAC’s spokesperson Mr. Rabindra Shrestha said, “Among 6, 2 are granted while other 4 are on convenience loan provided by Exim bank of China. One 56 seater MA-60 manufactured by Aviation industry corporation of China and one 19 seater Y-12e manufactured by Harbin Aircraft industry are granted.” With the arrival of these aircraft, NAC will have 8 aircrafts to its fleet for domestic flights.
Shrestha informed that the two new Harbin Y-12e aircraft will arrive tomorrow at TIA however, the exact time of arrival is unknown.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has designated temporary Nepalese registration for the aircraft as 9N-AKV and 9N-AKU. The two small airplanes have received typical names of small birds such as “Maina” and “Chakhewa”.
The planes are delivered by Chinese pilots from Harbin city of China. Previously brought Y-12e planes are operating to Pokhara, Bharatpur and Simara and upcoming aircraft will also operate in same destinations.
On the other hand adding aircraft from China have resulted trouble for the corporation. Though meeting among both countries initially resulted that those aircraft can be beneficial for operating in Himalayan region. But due to lack of skilled pilot and limited aircraft parts, Y-12e series have been problematic as NAC is not able to make most out of it.
Government of Nepal has already paid the amount of the aircraft so it is mandatory to acquire those aircraft.
Two Y-12e has been grounded due to lack of available parts. Also Chinese aircraft’s insurance is high in comparison to other and pilot training cost is also high. So buying Chinese aircraft has incurred more loss than profit.
The Corporation has also started work to procure at least four de Havilland Canada DHC-6 400 series Twin Otter aircraft for enhancing remote air services. Further, NAC has planned to welcome its two wide-body aircraft within upcoming Baishak, 2075.