KATHMANDU, August 27: Around two dozen officials of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) recently visited Singapore to ‘observe and inspect’ its aircraft which is currently under maintenance there.
Apart from the air fare, the officials’ stay at five-star hotels in the country has been sponsored by NAC. While half of them have already returned back to Nepal, others are reported to have been still roaming in Singapore.
The 190-seater Boeing 757-200 9N-ACB aircraft was sent to Singapore for its regular maintenance (C- checkup) by NAC some time ago. The NAC officials got an excuse to visit Singapore under the pretext of observing the aircraft, which is expected to be back at Tribhuvan International Airport in the first week of September.
According to a source at NAC, 20 NAC officials including directors of various divisions such as engineering, quality control and airworthiness alongside two managing directors of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) had made the trip to Singapore.
Managing Director (MD) of NAC, Sugat Ratna Kansakar, approved the visit of nearly two dozen officials from NAC and CAAN to Singapore. Sources said that some of the officials have returned while some are still prolonging the trip paid by the national flag carrier of Nepal.
“The Singapore trip has cost the airlines Rs 2 million,” the source informed Republica on Saturday. He added, “This delegation cannot visit the hangar where the aircraft is being repaired, so I don’t know what is the purpose of the visit.”
The source said NAC provided a daily allowance of $100 per day as well as covered all costs of all its 18 employees and the two high-ranking officials of CAAN. “NAC has also covered the costs of the five-star hotels that the directors are staying as well as for the two-way travel costs for all the staff,” revealed the source.
NAC has estimated that the cost of fully repairing the aircraft would be around Rs 300 million.
“This trip to Singapore to see the progress of the aircraft is against the laws. The decision to send them by the MD is highly irresponsible,” said a director at NAC requesting anonymity.