Nepal Airlines offered $5.71 million for its vintage Boeing 757The national flag carrier has been under pressure to sell the jet as its airworthiness will expire in February.
Nepal Airlines has been offered $5.71 million for its vintage Boeing 757, nearly 35 percent higher than the asking price, during negotiations that concluded on Friday, a leaked report shows.
According to an anonymous source who spoke to the Post, negotiations were conducted with three international companies. The national flag carrier has not disclosed their names or price quotes. “It’s a better than expected rate. The details of the negotiations will be tabled at the board meeting for its approval.”
Nepal Airlines had halved the price of the aircraft, engines and spare parts to $4.25 million after trying unsuccessfully to offload them for years. The jet bearing registration number 9N-ACB was valued at $5.4 million out of the total sale price of $7.8 million.
Nepal Airlines has been under pressure to sell its Boeing as its airworthiness will expire by February next year.
The carrier's last Boeing 757, which served the country for 31 years, has been sitting at Tribhuvan International Airport for nine months, accumulating airport parking taxes and insurance fees while awaiting a buyer.
Nepal Airlines had given potential buyers until November 27 to submit a proposal for negotiation.
On June 26, the national flag carrier put the 757 named Gandaki and its spare parts up for auction. Two bidders had shown interest in buying the plane. However, one bidder was disqualified as it did not provide its name on the bid document while the rate quoted by the second bidder was below the auction price.
Nepal Airlines then issued another notice on August 14. This time too, two bidders applied; but one wanted to buy only the spare parts while the other quoted a price that was way below the auction rate, the airline management said.
The aircraft has been causing a financial burden for the corporation as it has been sitting at Tribhuvan International Airport since February-end. The parking fee at the airport is $500 a day, which means that Gandaki has so far accumulated around $120,000 in parking fees alone. Nepal Airlines has also been paying the insurance premium for the aircraft and passengers.
The state-owned carrier has put up the plane’s spare parts for sale as it now has an all-Airbus fleet.
In April 2017, Nepal Airlines had put its first Boeing 757, named Karnali and bearing registration number 9N-ACA, up for sale with a minimum price of $1.71 million.
When Gandaki is finally sold and the aircraft flies off into the sunset, it will mark the end of the Boeing era in Nepal, which began nearly five decades ago and saw Nepal Airlines reach its zenith.
The 9N-ACB joined the fleet of the then Royal Nepal Airlines in September 1988. This special Combi model is capable of seating passengers while also carrying two pallets of cargo. According to Nepal Airlines, Gandaki’s frame is the only pure 757 Combi built by Boeing. The 757 can hold 190 passengers.