Print Edition - 2017-03-08 | MONEY
NAC board’s nod to 757 sale
Mar 8, 2017-
The board of directors of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) on Monday gave the go-ahead to sell one of its two vintage Boeing 757s. The national flag carrier has set a minimum sale price of $1.7 million for its 30-year-old Karnali bearing registration number 9N-ACA.
“We have planned to issue a global auction notice within seven days,” said Sugat Ratna Kansakar, managing director of the corporation. He added that if the bids received were less than the minimum sale price, they would issue another notice.
The 9N-ACA arrived in Nepal in 1987 and flew on long-haul routes, displaying the national flag at world airports. The 757 holds 190 passengers and is of the ‘combi’ variety with a forward cargo hatch.
The Boeing 757 is a mid-sized, narrow body twin-engine jet built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was in production from 1981 to 2004.
Kansakar said that NAC had opted to go for all-Airbus fleet for its international operations as it was cost-effective and economically viable. “We have planned to send off the second Boeing 757 by 2019,” he said.
The corporation had originally decided to sell off the second jet by 2018, but after finding out that the delivery date of its replacement Airbus A330 aircraft would be delayed, it postponed the sale.
NAC moved to sell off its two 757s as it was no longer profitable to fly them due to their high maintenance costs compared to the revenue they bring in. Each of NAC’s Boeings earns about Rs2 billion annually, and it costs the carrier almost the same in maintenance expenses, according to NAC.
The plane’s high fuel consumption is another matter of concern for the state-owned airline. According to officials, the Boeing 757 guzzles 4 tonnes of fuel per hour compared to 2.5 tonnes for new aircraft.
Nepal Airlines has taken the top spot in international passenger carriage for the first time in years, flying 275,701 travellers during the first nine months of 2016.
According to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the national flag carrier bumped Qatar Airways down to second place with a massive 74.63 percent growth in passenger carriage.
Nepal Airlines began flying high after inducting two new Airbus A320 aircraft into its fleet in 2015.
It resumed flights to Dubai, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi soon after acquiring the new jets, and now serves eight international destinations.
Published: 08-03-2017 09:07