Bonded warehouse to be set up for aircraft sparesThe supplier of the problem-plagued Chinese aircraft in Nepal Airlines Corporation’s fleet (NAC) has agreed to set up a bonded warehouse to make spare parts easily available in Nepal, according to a government fact-finding committee report.
The supplier of the problem-plagued Chinese aircraft in Nepal Airlines Corporation’s fleet (NAC) has agreed to set up a bonded warehouse to make spare parts easily available in Nepal, according to a government fact-finding committee report.
The government had formed a high-level panel to resolve issues seen in the Y12e and MA60 aircraft after NAC found them to be financially unviable due to their poor performance. The committee submitted its final report to the Tourism Ministry on Monday.
The leader of the panel Tourism Joint Secretary Suresh Acharya said that AVIC International Holding Corporation, the supplier of the Chinese planes, had agreed to establish a bonded warehouse besides slashing pilot training charges.
The long time taken to obtain spare parts from China has meant expensive downtime for NAC. “There won’t be a problem with spare parts if a warehouse is opened in Nepal,” said Acharya.
The committee has also asked the supplier to make a price list of the spare parts following NAC’s complaint that it was being overcharged. “It has agreed to provide catalogue prices of the spare parts one year in advance.”
Likewise, the supplier has agreed to cut pilot training costs. The company will train Nepali pilots for a fee of $19,000, down from the $80,000 set earlier for a combined training package.
However, trainee pilots will not get the combined training package that used to last 20-22 days. According to Acharya, Nepali pilots will have to spend only four to five days in China, and they will be provided 3-4 hours of flying training daily. They have to complete the rest of the training in Nepal under Nepali pilots who have completed instructor pilot training in China.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan) is likely to issue a certificate to the first Nepali instructor pilot of the Y12e soon. “Instructor pilots for the MA60 will also be produced soon.”
Meanwhile, the committee has asked NAC to conduct test flights of the Y12e at every airport it serves to determine its passenger capacity. “Based on the passenger capacity for each airport, Caan will approve the passenger chart accordingly,” he said.
The manufacturer of the Y12e has shaved 130-140 kg off the aircraft following complaints that it was too heavy to be viable to operate in Nepal.
The weight has been reduced by replacing bulky seats with lighter ones made of stronger materials.
The 17-seater plane weighed 185 kg more than what was stated in the specifications, forcing NAC to reduce the cabin load by three passengers. The first Y12e aircraft, weighing 3,550 kg when empty, arrived in Kathmandu in November 2014 as part of a Chinese government gift to Nepal.
With regard to the MA60, the committee has recommended reviewing the fuel policy. The plane has been flying with 25 percent extra fuel, so it cannot carry a full load of passengers, said Acharya. The ministry will forward the committee’s report to the NAC management which will pass it on to the board after reviewing it. The board will then decided whether to procure the remaining aircraft on order.