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Huge loss to Nepal carrier from China built aircraft

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Huge loss to Nepal carrier from China built aircraft

Nepal Airlines has been pushed into the red by China built aircraft.

Nepal carrier had bought six aircraft from China stable -three 17-seater Y12e and two 56-seater MA60 aircraft to connect remote and unserved sectors of the Himalayan Nation. But within two years Nepaleese realised that these aircraft were no more than white elephant, and grounded them.

Five of these aircraft imported with high hopes in November 2012 are gathering dust at the Tribhuwan International Airport,while the sixth had crashed, says a local media report. The accumulated losses have already crossed 2 billion Nepali rupees.

China had provided a grant and a concessional credit of 408 million yuan ( roughly 6.67 billion Nepalese rupees) to Nepal to buy the aircraft from the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), a Chinese Government company.

While one MA60 and one Y12e aircraft cost 180 million yuan, the remaining four aircraft were bought for 228 million yuan.

Reports say that Nepal Airlines Board realized that the maintenance of Chinese aircraft costs more than theie price. And grounded them. ‘Though not operational, we are paying back interest on the loans taken to buy the Chinese aircraft”, a Finance Ministry official was quoted as saying.

Annual interest of 1.5 per cent and service charge and management expenses of 0.4 per cent of the overall loan amount needs to be paid. Two instalments have already been paid, Hira Neupane, spokesperson at the Finance Ministry’s the Public Debt Management Office, confirmed.

As per the November 2012 agreement, the aircraft loans are to be repaid in 20 years with a moritorium of seven years. The planes have completed the seven-year grace period. IT means, Nepal Airlines has to clear the debt with interest by March 21, 2034.###