HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has finally signed the long awaited aircraft purchase deal with Airbus.
Airbus has fixed $75 million each for the two aircraft that NAC will be buying. According to NAC, it has agreed to pay eight per cent of the catalogue amount within five working days, including the $500,000 commitment fee.
“Now, Airbus will make its first delivery within February and another by April 2015,” said general manager of NAC Madan Kharel. Kharel and corporate director of NAC Ganesh Bahadur Chand, and senior sales director of Airbus Sheel Sukla and sales contacts director Rob Gardon signed the purchase agreement today.
Earlier, the corporation had purchased two Boeing aircraft in 1987 and 1988, respectively. The national flag carrier currently has two age-old Boeing 747s which are used to operate flights to Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Doha, Qatar, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Delhi. It has at the moment suspended flights to prime destinations Delhi and Dubai due to insufficient number of aircraft and to maintain its financial condition.
The Employment Provident Fund (EPF) has also agreed to lend Rs 10 billion to NAC for the purchase of the two narrow-body aircraft to expand its international fleet. EPF has agreed to provide the loan at 12 per cent interest though NAC had asked for a minimum interest rate of around 10 per cent.
NAC and EPF have signed the loan agreement which has a payback period of 15 years after the corporation starts operating its new fleet.
NAC needed $150 million to purchase the new aircraft for which it had made a loan agreement with EPF for a purchase loan. It had released the commitment fee according to the agreement signed with Airbus on April 5.
According to the agreement, the two aircraft will be delivered within 2015. NAC and Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer, had signed a revised memorandum of understanding for two narrow-body aircraft — A320-200. In the revised deal, Airbus had mentioned that it would charge the manufacturing escalation charge though the base price would remain the same as it was in the 2009 agreement.
In 2009, NAC had plans to start international services to Japan and Europe through direct flights. However, the plan did not materialise due to various issues.
Dry lease tender
KATHMANDU: Four companies have applied to the tender to supply two aircraft on dry lease to Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC). HNA Group (HK) Co Ltd, Aviation on Capital Group Singapore Pte Ltd, CIT Aerospace International, and BBAM Singapore Pte Ltd have applied to supply two Airbus A 320-200 aircraft on dry lease to NAC. The last date for the tender submission was June 26.