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Grounded Nepal Airlines Plane Likely to Resume Flights on Thursday

Nepal Airlines

A grounded Airbus aircraft of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is expected to resume service on Thursday as its damaged engine has been replaced, reports The Kathmandu Post.

What they are saying:

  • NAC’s Managing Director Sugat Ratna Kansakar said that the Airbus A320, bearing registration number 9N-AKW and named Sagarmatha, will be flown back to Nepal on Thursday after repairs in Singapore.
  • “We have leased the engine for $150,000 per month from a leasing company,” Kansakar said, adding that they could not say how many days or months it will take for the damaged engine to be repaired.
  • According to him, they have decided to send the engine to New Zealand for repairs as it cannot be done in Singapore. “As we do not know how the engine has been damaged, we cannot say how long it will take or how much it will cost to have it fixed.”
  • Officials at the Tourism Ministry said that NAC was expected to incur huge losses as the management failed to bring the aircraft back into operation.
  • “The aircraft has been out of service for 56 days. Such problems should be sorted out within a week,” said ministry officials. “Even after all that time, NAC does not know the cost of repairing the engine and how long it will take,” they said. “It is not even sure whether the engine can be repaired at all.”

The Backstory:

  • On 25th December, The Airbus suffered an engine failure and was grounded for a long time at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India.
  • On 8th February, it was flown to Singapore to get its engine replaced.

The Details:

  • According to the post, the national flag carrier has been losing revenues of nearly Rs. 100 million monthly. The figure has been computed on the basis of the estimated annual income of Rs. 1.2 billion for each of NAC’s aircraft.
  • Lost revenue, landing, and parking charges, the cost of repairing the damaged engine and the rental for a replacement engine contribute to NAC’s losses.
  • The national flag carrier said that as such problems might occur again, it had been preparing to invite bids for a ‘power by the hour’ program that will allow it to accurately forecast costs and free it from purchasing engines and accessories.
  • Power by the hour is a relatively new insurance concept that protects the lessee from unexpected costs of premature engine failure, which will allow NAC to pay for the service on an installment basis.

One more thing:

  • A Nepal Airlines Corporation team is scheduled to visit the Airbus plant in Toulouse, France next month to inspect the jets it has ordered from Hi Fly X, a leasing company based in Ireland.
  • According to NAC, the first of the two planes are expected to arrive in Nepal in May, and the second one by June.
  • The carrier has borrowed Rs. 24 billion from the Citizen Investment Trust (CIT) and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to buy the planes.

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