KATHMANDU, Aug 3: The government is planning to purchase eight new aircraft in the current fiscal year.
According to a five-year action plan unveiled by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) in Kathmandu on Thursday, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) will initiate the process of buying eight new aircraft by the fiscal year-end.
Making a presentation on the five-year plant at the ministry, Joint Secretary Nita Pokharel Aryal said that NAC will purchase six small aircraft for domestic routes and two narrow-body aircraft for international routes in the current fiscal year.
According to Aryal, order will be placed for eight aircraft by mid-May next year.
NAC currently has 13 aircraft in its fleet. Of them, five aircraft are for international destinations why rest fly to domestic destinations.
The plan to add new aircraft is aimed at turning around the financial health of the state-owned carrier, while also contributing to recovery of the country's tourism industry.
As the government gears toward making 'Visit Nepal 2020' a success, the purchase of new aircraft is expected to contribute in meeting the target to attract at least 2 million tourists annually by 2020.
The five-year action plan, among other, targets to raise the contribution of tourism sector to GDP by four times to 10 percent.
While the immediate plan is to place order for two narrow body aircraft, Ghanashyam Upadhyay, another joint secretary at the ministry, said that the NAC will have 10 aircraft for international destinations after five years.
He also said that the NAC will be the top airline company in Nepal, grabbing a market share of 60 percent of international passenger traffic in Nepal.