Nepal Airlines Corporation, the nation’s flag carrier, is looking for ‘better and efficient’ management of the airline – deciding to open a global tender for interested parties. The airlines arrived upon the decision after Nepal government said they would not bail the airlines out of their massive debt – a debt accumulated over years of improper management further propelled by the airline’s acquisition of two wide-bodied aircraft. According to reports, the state owned airline is struggling to repay the installment of the loan it took to purchase the new aircraft. The corporation requested for a NRS 20 billion bailout – a request which was refused.
NAC has formed a five-member experts’ committee headed by its former director Raju Bahadur KC in this regard. The committee has been asked to submit a report on the modality of contract within 10 days, informed Nawaraj Koirala, spokesperson of NAC.
The corporation is looking to outsource three key aspects of the airline’s management – operations, engineering, and market management to the private sector. NAC’s decision could be seen as a last minute ditch to save the drowning airline – a private sector with experience could give the airlines the boost the corporation requires.
Much scope to explore:
The national carrier has much to explore – the government is constructing two new international airports (Bhairawaha and Pokhara) while a third one at Nijgadh is to begin construction soon. Nepal Airlines, with the support of CAAN and other regulatory bodies is looking to expand to new destinations, with Japan in the pipeline. Recently suspended Jet Airways has also been a boost for Nepal Airlines – it has added another daily flight to New Delhi and is supposedly posting a high occupancy rate.
With proper management and marketing activities, Nepal Airlines has the potential to overturn its losses and become a growing company in no time, that is, in the right hands.