Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has pressed its second Airbus A320-200 aircraft into commercial service.
The aircraft, which has been named 'Lumbini', flew to New Delhi at 8:25 am with 135 passengers on board.
The national flag carrier had started daily flights to New Delhi from May 1. It had resumed flights to the Indian capital after first of the two Airbus A320-200s, which has been named as 'Sagarmatha', joined its fleet on February 27. Before May 1, it was flying four times a week on Kathmandu-New Delhi route.
Ram Hari Sharma, spokesperson of NAC, said the state-owned carrier will soon begin flights to Dubai and Mumbai. "We will start flying to Dubai and Mumbai within a month," he said, adding, "We are also planning to link Bangalore and Guangzhou with Kathmandu in the near future."
At present, NAC is flying to New Delhi, Doha, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
NAC's second A320-200 aircraft landed in Kathmandu on May 1 with rescue team and relief materials on board. The Airbus Foundation, Humedica -- a German NGO, and NAC used the flight to transport relief materials and medical team to provide aid to earthquake victims in different parts of the country. The aircraft has received Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). CAAN has also given the new aircraft 9N-AKX call sign.
Both the Airbus aircraft have engines made by US-based International Aero Engines. Both the aircraft have Sharklet fuel-saving wing tip devices which, according to Airbus, will deliver unbeatable economics and up to 4 percent reduction in fuel burn. The aircraft has 158 seats including 8 in business class.
Officials of the national flag carrier hope that the addition of new destinations with fleet expansion will help the national flag carrier to increase its market share and revive its lost glory.
NAC is operating a fleet of two ageing Boeing 757s, two Airbus A320-200s, two Twin Otters, one MA 60 and one Harbin Y12E.