Aircraft procurement process on track: Tourism secy
KATHMANDU, Aug 12: Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has initiated the process of expanding fleet size of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), following cabinet nod to procure two aircraft.
The cabinet on August 1 had given its go ahead to the tourism ministry to procure two narrow body aircraft for the national flag carrier.
Speaking at a media briefing, newly appointed tourism secretary Yagya Prasad Gautam said the ministry was expanding the fleet of NAC, realizing the need of a strong carrier for tourism development. “We have sought marketing, technical and procurement plan from NAC so that the process can go ahead,” he said, adding that the ministry was positive about keeping the option of leasing aircraft open along with the procurement plan.
“It really doesn´t matter weather the aircraft is procured or leased as long as it is profitable,” he added. Gautam further added that route analysis was very important in determining the profitability.
“Narrow body aircraft are suitable to operate up to 4-5 hours of flight. They can be flown to destinations like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong among others,” he added.
NAC at present has a fleet of two ageing Boeing 757 for international operation.
Gautam also stressed the need to develop second international airport in Nijgadh or Bara and regional airports in Pokhara and Bhairahawa. “Most of the countries look for alternative destinations while signing Air Service Agreement, and more airports will provide us better air connectivity,” he said.