KATHMANDU, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Nepal government has been tentatively planning to bring into operation two China made aircraft by March 25 next year, government officials said on Sunday.
The Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), the country's national flag carrier which is procuring and purchasing six made in China aircraft, has looked forward to getting two airplanes by March 15, 2014 from the Chinese government.
A three-member delegation led by NAC managing director Madan Kharel is holding talks with Chinese authorities, including the plane builders.
"We are looking forward to getting the two of the six aircraft from China by March 15 and bring them into commercial operation by March 25," NAC spokesperson Ganesh Bahadur Chand told Xinhua.
"The visiting delegates to China are holding talks with the Chinese authorities in the same line."
He said the Chinese government will first send two aircraft, one 19-seater Harbin Y12E and one 58-seater Modern Ark 60 (MA60) and it will still take some more months to bring in the other four, three Harbin Y12E and a MA60.
Late last month, Nepal and China signed the Framework Agreement on Provision of Concessional Loan Assistance, Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement for Grant Assistance, and a Letter of Exchange. The Nepal government also signed the Government Concessional Loan Agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China, the major financial supporter in this venture.
"As we are really eager to revamp our image and business through these planes, we have already prepared a plan of action in regards to the operation of the new planes," added Chand who is also corporate director for NAC.
Stakeholders take this as the last chance for financially and managerially tattered NAC to prevent itself from further downfall.
NAC has begun preparations to ensure sound operation this time with plans to make direct flights to all destinations across the country. All of the China-made aircraft will be used for domestic flights connecting a number of destinations, including Biratnagar, Pokhara, Bhairawaha, Bhadrapur, Dhangadi and Nepalgunj, directly from Kathmandu.
NAC officials said the company plans to capture at least 40 percent of the share in both domestic and international markets within seven years, adding that it will have around 25 percent of the market stake within a couple of years.