Grounded Chinese planes to take to the skies again by JulyGrounded Chinese-made Y12e planes of Nepal Airlines that has been causing the state-owned carrier millions in losses will take to the skies again by July-end, the Nepal Airlines Corporation has said.
Grounded Chinese-made Y12e planes of Nepal Airlines that has been causing the state-owned carrier millions in losses will take to the skies again by July-end, the Nepal Airlines Corporation has said.
Three airworthy 17-seater Y12e aircraft has been grounded due to the lack of instructor pilots while one Y12e aircraft has been grounded for maintenance for nearly two months.
Troubled started after sole instructor pilot of Y12e Ang
Noori Sherpa, who was sent to China for training returned and tendered his resignation in the first week of April. He then flew to the United States.
“Sherpa is back in Nepal and we have retained him. He has started flying one of the four Y12e planes since this week,” said Navaraj Koirala, deputy spokesperson of Nepal Airlines Corporation. According to Koirala, although Sherpa had tendered his resignation, it was not approved. “He has been retained under the old terms and conditions.”
Following Sherpa’s resignation, two Y12e captains Nripendra Bhattarai and Sanjay Bade Shrestha had to be grounded as they were unable to fly aircraft without the renewal of their pilot proficiency check by their instructor pilot.
Airline pilots must undergo proficiency checks every six months that are conducted by the instructor pilot.
The pilot proficiency check of Bhattarai and Shrestha will be renewed once they fly with Sherpa but before that, they will have to complete some ground trainings which is expected to take more than a month, said Koirala. “We expect that all four Y12e planes will be able to fly only after one and a half months.”
Koirala added that currently only one Y12e plane has been flying. In 2014, when the first batch of two 17-seater Y12e aircraft arrived in Kathmandu, they remained grounded for more than two months due to lack of pilots. The corporation received two more Y12e aircraft in February last year.
The 56th annual audit report of the Office of Auditor General released recently has said that the corporation had been operating its Chinese-made Y12e and MA60 aircraft ineffectively and incurring heavy losses from them.
The audit report said that the Chinese-made MA60 aircraft made an income of Rs206 million this fiscal year. However, its operating and other indirect expenses were Rs313 million and Rs212 million respectively, incurring total losses worth Rs316.4 million annually.
Similarly, from the Y12e, the corporation earned Rs25 million in income this year. However, its operating and indirect expenditure were Rs188.5 million and Rs96.3 million respectively. In total, losses from the Y12e operation stood at Rs289.7 million this year.
Last fiscal year, losses from MA60 aircraft had amounted to Rs66.7 million, while losses from Y12e amounted to Rs39.4 million. Last year, the audit pointed out that the corporation did not seem to have made a solid working plan to operate these aircraft at a profit. This year’s report said that nothing has changed despite the audit’s recommendation given last year.