Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is planning to buy 13 more large planes within the next five years.
The NAC executive committee has decided to expand the international fleet of the national flag carrier by acquiring five more wide-body aircraft and eight narrow-body planes.
“On Tuesday, the NAC’s executive committee approved a five-year plan to expand the national carrier’s presence in the international arena. We are planning to acquire large planes so that NAC can cater to the growing demand from the international sector, which is currently being catered to by foreign airlines,” said Sugat Ratna Kansakar, managing director of NAC.
“The decision of the executive committee will soon be forwarded to NAC’s board for final approval,” he added.
Based on the current market price, purchasing the 13 large aircraft is expected to cost around Rs 70 billion. “We also plan to request the government to inject more money, so that NAC’s paid-up capital is raised to Rs 20 billion from Rs 160 million at present,” Kansakar stated.
Earlier the NAC board had decided to add two narrow-body planes to conduct its international flights, two 72-seater ATR model planes for trunk routes and six Twin Otter planes for remote routes. The NAC has initiated the process to buy these 10 planes by 2019.
In domestic sector, NAC plans to expand its fleet to 20 by next five years. The five-year plan includes purchasing four more 72-seater ATR planes for trunk routes. At present NAC is conducting its domestic flights with six China-made and two Canadian Twin Otter planes.
“The national flag carrier could play an effective role in further boosting Nepal’s tourism sector by offering flights at competitive prices,” he added.
Recently, NAC bought two 274-seater A330-200 wide-body aircraft from Europe-based Airbus company. At present, NAC is providing its services to international passengers through one Boeing 757, two Airbus 320-200 narrow-body and one new wide-body aircraft.
Currently, NAC offers flights to New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Doha and Dubai.
NAC plans to add more destinations to its international schedule in the near future.