January 29, 2017 10:05 PM NPT
KATHMANDU, Jan 29: Fourth China-made aircraft, Harbin Y12e, is arriving in Kathmandu on Tuesday.
The 17-seater aircraft is a part of grant and loan agreement that Nepal has signed with China for six aircraft. While two aircraft - one MA 60 and Y12e - were delivered more than two years ago, the third aircraft - MA 60 - landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) on Thursday.
Nepal Airlines Corporation's pilot Gopal Singh Bista flew the 56-seater plane, which has been named Fewa, all the way from Kunming via Dhaka. The aircraft has received 9N-AKR call sign from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
NAC plans to operate 14 additional flights to different domestic destinations, according to Janakraj Kalakheti, commercial director of NAC. “The two MA 60s will operate 32 flights a week,” he said, adding that the new aircraft will help the NAC to expand its market share.
According to an agreement that NAC signed with AVIC International Holding in December 2012, China will provide two aircraft on grants, while it will arrange soft loans to purchase four aircraft.
Though NAC took delivery of two Chinese aircraft in 2014 itself, it was reluctant to receive the remaining four aircraft because of issues related to spare parts, training of pilots and engineers, load capacity and insurance.