All 4 Harbin Y-12 E aircraft belonging to Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) are grounded at Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) since 1 week. The planes are grounded following the lack of capable pilots. This has caused huge financial loss to the corporation and the question has risen against the capability of corporations’ management.
According to NAC, there is lack of capable pilots in Nepal to fly the aircraft so talks with Chinese pilots are going on. NAC has decided to hire Chinese pilot who can communicate in English but it has been problematic as the pilots are asking for high salary informed managing director of NAC, Sugat Ratna Kansakar.
There is only 1 pilot in Nepal who is capable of flying the Harbin Y-12E but he has been in sick leave since a week ago thus flight to Pokhara, Bharatpur and Simara from the aircraft is halted. Newly brought 2 Harbin Y-12E is still waiting for its maiden flight though it has been a month since it landed in TIA.
The Chinese aircraft were brought as per agreement between Chinese and Nepali Government in 2069 but it has been bane for the corporation ever since. The insurance cost of Chinese aircraft is comparatively high and maintenance of these aircrafts is also hard as parts have to be brought from China.
Similarly Tourism ministry secretary have questioned managing director of NAC about management of the corporation. Sources said that the corporation didn’t think about technical side while purchasing the aircraft and this has caused great loss of the government.
NAC in other hand said that they are trying to bring Chinese pilots as many copilots in Nepal still require more qualification fly the aircraft. Very less number of domestic pilots in China are good at English so to bring Chinese pilots is also troublesome.
Initially talks with 3 pilots were done but 2 are only interested to come to Nepal for salary of $9000 per month. NAC have been negotiating with the Chinese pilots at $7000 per month and have asked for Identity and certificate of the interested pilots. Currently, NAC is providing $10-11 thousands for the foreign pilot who has been flying the corporations Airbus.