The Kathmandu Post, 11th April 2017, Kathmandu
Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has put one of its two Boeing 757s up for sale. On Monday, the national flag carrier issued an auction notice setting a minimum sale price of $1.71 million for the 30-year-old Karnali bearing registration number 9N-ACA.
The aircraft has been sitting outside the NAC hangar at Tribhuvan International Airport since April 2016 following the corporation’s policy to phase out Boeing aircraft, the airline said.
“We have decided to retire the aircraft after conducting a cost-benefit analysis. Based on the operational cost analysis, it does not make sense to fly the aircraft,” said Rabindra Shrestha, spokesperson for NAC.
He added that the Boeing 757 burns 4 tonnes of fuel per hour compared to 2.5 tonnes for new aircraft.
The move is also part of the national flag carrier’s plan to have an all-Airbus fleet for its international operations.
The corporation has given a May 24 deadline for the submission of tender documents by interested parties. The corporation plans to retire its second Boeing 757 by 2019.
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.
The Boeing 757 is a mid-sized, narrow body twin engine jet built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It debuted in the late 1980s and was in production until 2004.NAC moved to sell off its two 757s as it is 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 the carrier.
As per the notice, the successful bidder shall have to bear insurance charges after 90 days from the signature date of the binding contract. All charges for deregistration and applicable taxes on the sale shall be borne by the buyer, and the sale of aircraft does not include any spare parts.
NAC recently announced that it would be launching four new long-haul routes besides resuming its London service after acquiring two wide body jets in 2018.
Last Friday, the NAC signed a $209.6 million deal to purchase two Airbus A330-200 long-range jets from US-based AAR Corp, marking the largest ever jet purchase deal in Nepal’s aviation history.
The national flag carrier plans to connect Kathmandu with Seoul in South Korea, Tokyo in Japan, Dammam in Saudi Arabia and Sydney in Australia. It has also announced increasing flight frequencies to key destinations like Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Doha.
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.
It 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.