US firm makes down payment, confirming purchase of Boeing 757The company deposited $281,000 into the carrier’s account on Thursday, which is a 5 percent payment of the total aircraft cost.
According to Ganesh Bahadur Chand, spokesperson of Nepal Airlines, the American firm deposited $281,000 into the carrier’s account on Thursday, which is a 5 percent payment of the total aircraft cost.
“We will sign the sales agreement with the American company by January. The remaining amount will come after the agreement is signed,” Chand told the Post.
On December 30, Nepal Airlines awarded the jet bearing registration number 9N-ACB to the CSDS Aircraft Sales and Leasing firm after it offered $5.71 million for the plane, nearly 35 percent higher than the asking price. The negotiation was concluded on December 20.
Negotiations were conducted with three international companies. 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 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 in February this year.
Chand said that they were not aware when would the American company take the jet but it should be flown before mid-February.
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 national flag carrier then issued notice by giving potential buyers November 27 deadline to submit a proposal for negotiation.
The aircraft has been causing a financial burden for the corporation as it has been sitting at Tribhuvan International Airport since February-end 2019. The parking fee at the airport is $500 a day. Nepal Airlines has also been paying the insurance premium for the aircraft and passengers.
The state-owned carrier also 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.
Tourism Secretary reinstated as chair of Nepal Airlines board
KATHMANDU: The Cabinet has approved the resignation of Nepal Airlines Corporation Executive Chairman Madan Kharel and has reinstated the Tourism Secretary as chairman of the corporation’s board of directors effective from Sunday.
Kharel had tendered his resignation on Sunday. On September 17, 2018, the Cabinet had appointed Kharel as the executive chairman, leaving the then Managing Director, Sugat Ratna Kansakar as a ceremonial CEO with little decision-making authority.
As the corporation had its managing director post occupied already, the government removed the Tourism Secretary from the Nepal Airlines board. The executive management and board decision both were entrusted to Kharel.