PM Oli's directives to make NAC efficient and capable

Kathmandu, July 1: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has urged that the national flag-carrier, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC)'s management be made effective and efficient and up-to-date.

PM Oli, who is also looking after the portfolio of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, issued directives for immediately forwarding the task of expanding the NAC's international destinations along with adept management of the national flag-carrier which is related to the nation's identity and prestige.

Addressing the 61st anniversary function of NAC here today, he said Nepal Airlines has an important role in also making the Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign meaningful and stressed on creating an environment in which the NAC's aircraft are operated with in their full capacity.

"The Corporation has all the powers to carry out its works. Increase your fleet and destinations. However, it is not good to only increase the number of aircraft without any sound plan leading to the aircraft to remain grounded. I urge the management, come up with an appropriate way of improving the Corporation and then the government will decide what appropriate steps are required to be taken. The kind of plan and destinations should be explored not only to service the debt but also that would make profit," PM Oli said.

The Prime Minister also urged the NAC management to pay serious attention towards the effective operation and upgrading of services of the Corporation which remains as the suitable medium for the positive growth of the economy of the entire nation.

NAC, which is currently at Rs 37 billion loss, has demanded Rs 20 billion with the government for the raise in its reserve capital. The representatives from the NAC’s employees associations had put request for purchasing 25 new aircrafts within five years. It may be noted that many of the aircrafts owned by NAC were not in operation owing to various reasons.

PM Oli, responding to it, had clarified that the government was not intending to procure new aircrafts and keep them grounded until there was effective management mechanism put in place in NAC.

“There should be a serious review on what caused NAC suffer loss of Rs 37 billion? The incumbent government is not carried away by any publicity. We have plenty of grounded aircrafts.

They ought to be in the sky,” opined the PM.

According to PM, it was the responsibility of government to make NAC that is plagued by various challenges a success. “The government will give every possible support for NAC as it is a state-owned airlines corporation but it should be operated appropriately.”

He urged the NAC to make efforts for operating wide-body aircraft for long-haul flights. According to him, in lack of effective plan for expansion of destinations, NAC was at economic crisis.

The PM viewed, “NAC, in its 61 year old history, has incurred loss worth Rs 37 billion. It is not a charity organization. It should increase its business to sustain itself.”

Similarly, former State-Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Dhan Bahadur Budha said works would be forwarded in a manner aiming at enhancing capacity of NAC, expansion of international destinations and promoting tourism.

NAC executive Chairman Madan Kharel said that the NAC was successful to establish itself as an internationally competitive air service provider company amid the heaps of challenges.

He also briefed the gathering that the achievement of expected profit became impossible as NAC resources, primarily aircrafts in its possession, could not be operated to the full strength and the size of destination could not be expanded. According to him, procedures are on the progress to enlist Guangzhou of China and Riyadh of Saudi Arabia in the NAC destination soon.

NAC deputy general manager Ganesh Bahadur Chand said works were going ahead to increase efficiency of the NAC with a well management system and to escalate the list of destination.

NAC authorized trade union leader Subash Dangi and NAC Employees Organisation chair Tarini Raj Dahal stressed on the need of increasing the number of aircrafts and destination points to improve the organisation's status.

NAC earns 7.54 billion profit, users of international services increases largely

According to the NAC report, till the first nine months of the current fiscal year, the NAC earned a profit of Rs 7.54 billion and this figure in the corresponding period last year was Rs 3.85 billion. The number of passengers using the NAC international flights during the first 11 months of the last fiscal year was 348,528 while 569,034 passengers travelled through its international flights during the corresponding period of current fiscal. This figure is 63.5 percent more by the previous one.

In 2018, NAC was the first airlines in the country in terms of operating the international flights. During this period, it provided its services to 493,173 passengers and secured 11.7 percent portion in the aviation market. Currently, it operates international flights in eight destinations of six countries through two wide body and two narrow body aircrafts while the domestic flights are conducted through nine aircrafts and the flight service covers nine airports. It provides ground handling services to 30 foreign airlines companies.

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