KATHMANDU, September 5: Key foreign airlines operating in Nepal have alleged that the Air Turbine Fuel (ATF) sold by the state-owned Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has been of poor quality.
Various airlines operating from different Gulf countries to Kathmandu including Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have alleged that the ATF being sold by the NOC is substandard.
Monitoring inspectors working with those airlines had sometimes ago submitted a report to the NOC stating that the ATF being sold to them failed to meet the required quality standards. Those inspectors hold certificates recognized by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Despite the complaints by the key foreign airlines, the NOC management has shown complete indifference toward addressing the quality issue even after receiving the report. The airlines have now sought help of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the aviation sector regulatory body, to address the problem, after the NOC turned a deaf ear.
“We have sought a letter sent to the NOC by four main airlines operating from the Gulf region to address the quality issue of ATF being purchased from the NOC,” said Deputy Director General at CAAN, Rajan Pokharel. “We are holding discussion with the representatives of the concerned airlines and the NOC.”
The Aviation Safety Department of CAAN has already held discussion with the NOC on the issue. Pokharel said they plan to hold tripartite discussion on the issue again.
An official of the airlines that had complained of substandard ATF said they were forced to knock the doors of CAAN as their concerns were not heard by the NOC management. As the ATF quality was not improved even after repeated requests and follow-up, Qatar Airways had even started refueling at Lucknow Airport in India on its way back to Doha.