CIAA starts probe into Nepal Airlines’ aircraft purchase misconductThe Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has started investigating into the alleged irregularities during the purchase of wide-body aircraft by Nepal Airlines Corporation.
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has started investigating into the alleged irregularities during the purchase of wide-body aircraft by Nepal Airlines Corporation.
The airlines management is under fire for not following due procedures in the aircraft procurement as well as receiving the planes with low-load carrying capacity than what was mentioned in the tender notice.
According to the complaint registered at the CIAA, the airlines should have paid less money for purchasing low load carrying capacity aircraft.
The NAC is also charged of using an agent to purchase two wide-body aircraft, violating its financial bylaw.
The airlines had purchased two A330-200 Airbus aircraft from the US-based AAR Corp for $209.6 million, in the largest ever aircraft purchase deal in Nepal’s aviation history.
Based on the deal, the NAC has already received the two 274-seater aircraft. The first aircraft dubbed“Annapurna” arrived on June 28 and the second aircraft “Makalu” arrived on July 26.
“We are at the initial phase of our investigation. The commission has asked the NAC to furnish details about the aircraft purchase process,” said CIAA Spokesperson Rameshore Dangal.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Public Account Committee (PAC) has also sought details on aircraft purchase deal with the NAC. The committee was supposed to discuss the NAC aircraft deal on Friday, but the meeting was postponed until further notice due to the conflicting schedules of the lawmakers.
The alleged irregularities came into light after the 55th Annual Report of the Office of Auditor General revealed that the NAC bought two aircraft without following due legal procedure.
The report has said that the NAC used an agent or a mediator to purchase the planes and called for a global tender instead of bidding a tender from the aircraft manufacturing company.
“Instead of purchasing the plane from the manufacturer itself, the NAC went for purchasing old aircraft that had already made up to 1,000 hours of flight from another aircraft supplier,” the report said.
Despite the NAC’s direct contact with Airbus, with whom it had purchased two brand new narrow-body aircraft in 2015, the NAC didn’t seek price order from the Airbus while purchasing wide-body aircraft.
Asked about the allegations, NAC Managing Director Sugat Ratna Kansakar said, “There have been some shortcomings in the NAC bylaw.”
He, however, denied that the purchased aircraft have a low-load carrying capacity. “This is a baseless allegation,” he said. “The specification of the aircraft is as per the signed contracts with US-based Company.”
Kansakar had also faced the charge of corruption from the CIAA for sending a lock-up money of $750,000 to Airbus to purchase narrow body aircraft in 2009 without approval from the NAC board. He was acquitted in the case by Special Court in April 2011.