Nepal Airlines, Airbus begin talks

  • Dialogue aimed at settling possible legal hurdles to fresh jet purchase plan


The Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) on Tuesday started talks with Airbus SAS to settle any possible legal hurdles due to past agreements with the European aviation giant that may hamper a fresh aircraft purchase process.

An Airbus delegation, which is currently in Nepal, is led by Sheel Shukla, senior sales director at Airbus, while the NAC’s talk team is headed by its acting managing director Raju Bahadur KC.

Tuesday’s talks dwelt on some ‘light issues’, an NAC official said, adding the dialogue will be continued on Wednesday.

“The Airbus representatives made a presentation on Airbus’ current technical and financial status,” he said.

The NAC board had decided to call Airbus to sort out the legal matters after the government directed authorities concerned to expedite the process to procure two aircraft for the ailing national flag carrier at the earliest.

The meeting will discuss the status of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) that the two companies had signed on November 6, 2009, according to an NAC official.

As a unilateral termination of the MoU would be a breach of agreement, it was necessary to sort out the legal hurdles mutually, government officials said.

However, Airbus, during its presentation in Tuesday’s meeting, said it would not be able to supply aircraft at the price quoted three years ago, according to one of

the officials who attended the meeting.

Airbus had quoted $ 41.28 million for a narrow-body aircraft and $ 92.84 million for the wide-body variant at the time of MoU signing.

The Immediate Governance and Economy Development Action Plan 2012, unveiled by the Prime Minister’s Office on October 16, directed the Tourism and Finance ministries to procure two aircraft for international and six for domestic fleets of NAC.

The government has also warned that a failure to conclude the process would result in removal of officials concerned from their responsibilities.

The NAC board has already directed the management to conduct an analysis of its routes, market and business before placing an order for the planes.

The government has agreed to act as a guarantor for the planned aircraft purchase.


Posted on: 2012-11-07 08:42