KATHMANDU, Dec 6: The employees of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) have initiated a protest against the government’s decision to entrust ground handling services at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) through open competition.
NAC employees and joint trade unions have started their protest since Wednesday, demanding that the ground handling at the TIA should be awarded automatically according to the established rules rather than through open competition.
Following the decision of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to award the ground handling of the TIA through open competition, the employees of the NAC have demanded that the ground handling should be entrusted to the NAC. The state-owned airline company has been earning about Rs 4 billion annually through ground handling services.
NAC employees have warned that they will stop CAAN technicians from auditing. The CAAN is preparing to conduct a detailed audit of NAC for three days from Wednesday as per the recommendation of the European Union (EU).
But the employees of the NAC have said that they are prepared to prevent CAAN’s employees from entering the NAC premises.
Ramesh Kumar Pandey, vice president of National Employees Organization of Nepal (NEON) and senior officer of the NAC, blamed CAAN as the reason that the EU has not removed NAC from its blacklist.
He alleges that the Director General of the CAAN is trying to take away the ground handling service that the NAC has been providing until now as per the instructions of the aviation mafia. The employees have said that they will continue to protest against the decision on ground handling.