NAC aircraft heads to S’pore for repairsAn Airbus A320 belonging to Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has been flown to Singapore from New Delhi to get an engine replacement, on Thursday.
An Airbus A320 belonging to Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has been flown to Singapore from New Delhi to get an engine replacement, on Thursday. The aircraft had been stranded at New Delhi, India for nearly one and a half months due to one of its engines being damaged.
The aircraft, registration 9N-AKW and named Sagarmatha, will be flown back to Nepal by February 18, said Rabindra Shrestha, spokesperson of NAC. The aircraft had been sitting at Indira Gandhi International Airport since December 25. Shrestha said that NAC has leased a second hand engine that is expected to arrive in Singapore on February 14. “Due to the Chinese New Year that begins on February 14, installation of the leased engine will be delayed,” he said. “However, we are expecting to bring the aircraft into operation by February 18.”
According to NAC, the leasing cost of the engine could cost $150,000 per month. However, NAC is not sure when the damaged engine will be repaired. It may take at least three months, according to NAC. NAC’s brand new jet had arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport in February 2015.
NAC has been racking up huge losses due to its failure in bringing the aircraft into operation. The national flag carrier has been losing income of nearly Rs100 million monthly. The figure has been computed on the basis of the estimated annual income of Rs1.2 billion for each of NAC’s aircraft.
Apart from lost revenue, landing and parking charges cost of repairing the damaged engine and the rental for a replacement engine will push up NAC’s losses.
Total losses are expected to be in the millions, sources privy to the matter said. Recently, NAC Managing Director Sugat Ratna Kansakar told the Post that they could not immediately determine the amount of losses. The national flag carrier has been preparing to invite bids for a ‘power by the hour’ programme that will allow it to accurately forecast costs and free it from purchasing stocks of engines and accessories. The ‘power by the hour’ is a new concept. It’s akin to insurance that protects the lessee from unexpected costs of premature engine failure, according to Kansakar. NAC would have to pay for the service on an installment basis.
The facility was introduced by engine makers Rolls-Royce. Other aircraft engine manufacturers such as General Electric and Pratt & Whitney offer similar programmes. The family of A320 engines is manufactured by International Aero Engines (IAE).