“Invest Rs. 20 billion stake on Nepal Airlines Corporation, we will make a big difference in Nepal’s tourism sector,” said managing director of NAC, addressing its 59th anniversary function.
With a cash crunch, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has had to rely on several other sectors to mondernise its fleet. Despite this, it has said that its share in the country's civil aviation market has reached 12 percent from a meager five percent a year ago.
No country’s tourism can thrive without a strong and reliable national flag carrier. Nepal cannot be an exception.
“NAC's market share as early as a year ago used to be five percent but now it has reached 12 percent and the number of passengers served by NAC also has increased by 17.6 percent. All this happened after NAC added just two 158-seater A320 aircraft to its international fleet,” said Kansakar.
NAC has been carrying 200,000 passengers annually for the last one decade. But for the past two years (previous fiscal year and current fiscal year), the number of NAC's passengers has increased by 24 percent to 384,000. Similarly, though the number of arrivals at Tribhuvan International Airport has increased by 4.7 percent, the passengers traveling in NAC aircraft have increased by 17.6 percent this year.
“NAC's annual transaction has reached Rs 100 billion, international airlines operating in the country enjoy a majority market share.
“Increasing the market share and number of passengers is not a trivial thing, given that we have to compete with 26 international airlines,” Kansakar said, “Now we will bring two wide-body aircraft within a year and then NAC's market share is expected to reach 18 percent from the present 12 percent.”
After adding two aircraft in its history of 30 years, NAC has attached high priority to improving its management too. “NAC is preparing to increase the perks and benefits of all employees including pilots. But, the institution cannot progress unless the employees develop a positive thinking,” said Kansakar.
He said NAC will go for leasing planes instead of buying them in the future. “Most of the airlines companies in the world are leasing aircraft. So, we will do the same,” he said, “It would be easier if the government converted the loan borrowed from the Employees Provident Fund and Citizen Investment Fund into capital investment.”
As Nepal Airlines Corporation observed the 59th anniversary, the management also announces adding new aircraft in its fleet annually.
With the order of two wide body Airbuses, Nepal Airlines' performance can be expected to increase.
Shankar Prasad Adhikari, chairman of NAC Board and secretary of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation said that NAC has been directly affected by the political transition. He said that NAC has been facing the current situation because of some wrong decisions and practices of the past.
“That is why we are moving ahead with the plan to have a strategic partner for NAC to improve its management,” he added, “The government, too, needs to provide financial support for the improvement of NAC.”
“The national flag carrier is focused on increasing the market share and improving passenger convenience. “NAC has received significant support from the government and all other stakeholders. We expect that to continue in the coming days,” said Rabindra Shrestha, corporate director of NAC.
With enthusiasm and encouragement, Nepal Airlines celebrated its 59th anniversary hoping to make its future more prosperous.