The first of two Airbus A320-200, ordered by Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), will arrive in Kathmandu on February 7.
Issuing a statement on Thursday, NAC said the construction of the aircraft is almost completed and that it will be handed over to the state-owned carrier in Hamburg of Germany on February 6. The aircraft will land at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu via Doha on February 7.
According to NAC, the aircraft will begin commercial operation after 10-12 days of its landing in Kathmandu. NAC officials say it would take 10-12 days to complete administrative formalities of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
NAC pilots are already receiving necessary trainings to operate Airbus aircraft. Six captains of NAC, who are currently undergoing training, will be ready to operate the aircraft when it lands in Kathmandu. Both the aircraft will have Sharklet fuel-saving wing tip devices, which, according to Airbus, will deliver unbeatable economics and up to 4 percent reduction in fuel burn. NAC has requested Airbus to install 158 seats including eight in business class. NAC had signed purchase agreement with Airbus on June 27, 2013.
Madan Kharel, managing director of NAC and Sheel Sukla, senior sales director of Airbus had signed the agreement. The catalogue price of Airbus A320-200 is around Rs 15 billion. As part of the agreement, Airbus will give free training to NAC´s engineers and pilots. To finance purchase of the aircraft, NAC has signed a loan agreement worth Rs 10 billion with Employees´ Provident Fund (EPF). EPF has fixed interest rate at 12 percent per annum. As per the agreement, NAC has to pay back the loan within 15 years. NAC currently operates a fleet of two ageing Boeing 757, two Twin Otters one MA 60 and one Harbin Y12E.