KATHMANDU, Feb 14: Two new Chinese aircraft procured by Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) from China landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu on Tuesday.
According to NAC, two Harbin Y 12-e aircraft landed at the TIA on Tuesday afternoon at the interval of half an hour.
The two 17-seater aircraft are a part of grant and loan agreement that Nepal has signed with China to procure six aircraft - two MA 60s and four Harbin Y 12-e aircraft. Of them, one MA 60 and one Harbin Y 12-e were received on grant, while China has arranged concessional loan to purchase on MA 60 and three Harbin Y 12-e aircraft.
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has given the new aircraft 9N-AKU and 9N-AKV call signs, according to Rabindra Shrestha, the spokesperson for NAC. “As per the agreement, we received four aircraft few years ago and the remaining two landed in Kathmandu on Tuesday,” Shrestha said.
The cost of four aircraft is US$ 35 million. “NAC has repaid most of the loans, Shrestha said, adding that only around $3.5 million is remaining.
With the new additions, NAC has a total of eight aircraft for domestic destinations. Although NAC had earlier said that it would operate small aircraft on hilly airports, it plans to operate them on regular destinations initially.