KATHMANDU, April 21: The government has decided to stand as a guarantor for Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) to secure a loan for purchasing two wide-body aircraft. The cabinet meeting held on Thursday took the decision, according to Minister for Energy Janardan Sharma.
The decision has paved way for the national flag carrier to borrow Rs 25 billion from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to purchase two Airbus A330-200 series aircraft. The procurement deal is worth US$ 209.6 million.
NAC Managing Director Sugat Ratna Kansakar and Deepak Sharma, a representative of AAR Corp -- the US-based supplier - signed the procurement agreement on April 7. The Airbus 330-200 series aircraft will have 250 to 280 seats, according to NAC. NAC expects to get delivery of the first of the two Airbus A330-100s by the end of this year. The second one will join the national flag carrier’s fleet three months later. With the addition of two wide-body jets, the number of aircraft in NAC’s fleet for international flights will reach five - two Airbus A320-220s, two Airbus A330-200s and one Boeing 757.
Earlier in 2013, NAC had borrowed Rs 10 billion from the EPF to purchase two Airbus A320-200 series aircraft. NAC plans to operate the wide-body jets to new destinations like Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea and Australia, among others.