KATHMANDU: Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has announced plans to add two narrow-body aircraft to its fleet.
In a notice issued on Tuesday, the national flag carrier invited bids from aircraft manufacturers, airline operators, and aircraft leasing companies for the supply of two narrow-body aircraft on ACMI (aircraft, maintenance, crew, and insurance) lease for a year.
According to the bidding document, each aircraft should have a minimum of 150 seats in Economy Class with three lavatories, while in-seat inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity will be considered advantageous. Additionally, the supplier must provide two cockpit crew and one cabin crew per 40 passengers based on the seat configuration per flight. The supplier is also required to ensure a sufficient number of cockpit and cabin crew for layover operations according to the planned schedule.
Furthermore, the supplier must deliver the aircraft to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, and the aircraft should be painted in the NAC livery.
NAC has guaranteed a minimum of 310 flight hours per aircraft.
Issuing a statement, NAC said it intends to utilize the aircraft to address the growing demand for air seats by increasing flights to destinations such as Delhi, Dubai, Doha, and Kuala Lumpur, while also commencing scheduled flights from Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa.
NAC’s aircraft leasing agreements, however, haven’t been free from controversy. NAC incurred huge losses on its leasing agreements with Chase Air, China South West and Lauda Air in the past as leasing fee was set in collusion with political leaders and NAC officials.