The Chinese government, that has agreed to provide six airplanes to the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) on grant and soft loan, will also provide a hangar for repair and maintenance of the airplanes given.
Over Rs 2 billion goes abroad every year for repair and maintenance of airplanes in lack of a hangar with NAC. The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation stated that China has moved the process forward to provide a state of the art hangar worth Rs 4 billion to NAC within the current year. Sources claimed that discussions for hangar are being held under leadership of the ministry. Sources added that bilateral discussions will move forward soon as NAC, that was asked by the ministry three months back to send proposal, submitted the proposal two months late.
NAC currently only has a simple hangar where normal repair and maintenance can be done under open sky. It will be possible to conduct even C Check and D Check in Nepal to significantly reduce NAC’s annual loss if China provides the hangar as per the proposal sent by NAC. The proposed hangar will require 3,000 square meters of area, as per NAC.
NAC is currently operating international flights through Boeing 757. C Check and engine overhaul have to be done after every 18 months or 5,000 flight hours, and NAC has to take the airplane abroad for that. NAC has to spend around Rs 2 billion for that for two Boeing airplanes. NAC has to spend Rs 2 billion out of the Rs 5 billion earned from its two Boeing airplanes in repair and maintenance alone. Engine overhaul of a Boeing costs Rs 550 million, C Check Rs 250 million and spare parts Rs 200 million. NAC Spokesperson Saroj Kasaju said the proposal has been sent as NAC is not in a condition to build a hangar on its own and the ministry is trying to make arrangements for it on grant.
Per square meter of a hangar costs around US$ 15,000 and the cost of the proposed 3,000 square meter hangar, therefore, will be around Rs 4 billion. Work can be done even during night and all kinds of small and big airplanes can be repaired if NAC’s proposal is approved. NAC can also increase its income by even repairing airplanes of other airline companies. A total of four airplanes can be repaired simultaneously at the proposed hangar. NAC plans to form a separate department for hangar should it come and will make arrangements for another income source through that.
The first of the Airbus that NAC is procuring will arrive in March, 2015 and the next in May. NAC feels that a hangar is necessary as all six Chinese planes will also arrive by November. Kasaju argued that NAC also needs a hangar as the government through the budget for fiscal year 2071/72 has already announced procurement of 15 new airplanes within five years.