Nepal finally out of ICAO’s SSC list

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has formally informed the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) that the significant safety concern (SSC) issued to Nepal by the ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission in July, 2013, has been resolved.

CAANCAAN says it will request EU to review its backlist

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has formally informed the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) that the significant safety concern (SSC) issued to Nepal by the ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission in July, 2013, has been resolved.

Organizing a press meet in Kathmandu on Friday, CAAN Director General Sanjiv Gautam said that SSC Validation Committee Meeting held at the ICAO Headquarters in Montreal on July 20 took the decision.

A team of ICAO’s experts had visited Nepal in the first week of July to study improvements made by Nepal in aviation safety.

Though ICAO’s safety concern has been addressed, Nepali airlines are still subjected to an operating ban within the airspace of the European Union. The European Commission placed restrictions on Nepali airline companies on December 25, 2013, after the ICAO designated SSC about the country’s aviation sector, stating that Nepal has not complied with ICAO protocols in eight critical elements including flight operations and aviation safety.

While ICAO has said that its safety concerns have been addressed by Nepal, it is still unknown whether the EU will remove Nepal from its backlist.

Gautam said in the press meet that the aviation sector regulator would now formally request the European Commission to review its backlist.

Turkish Airlines launches ‘Together for Better’ scheme

Turkish Airlines has launched a new consumer scheme together with coffee chain Himalayan Java.

Turkish

Turkish Airlines has launched a new consumer scheme together with coffee chain Himalayan Java.

Under the scheme, which was announced on Tuesday amid a function organized at Himalayan Java outlet in Labim Mall, Lalitpur, one lucky customers can win a free ticket to Turkish Airlines’ destination of his choice.

The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch ‘Together for Better’ campaign.

According to Abdullah Tuncer Kececi, the general manager of Turkish Airlines in Nepal, interested participants can drop their business card or provide details in a card available at the Himalayan Java outlets or take a selfie with Turkish Airlines coffee mug and upload the picture on Facebook with the hashtags #TurkishAirlines #WidenYourWorld #HimalayanJava #favourite destination. The winner of the campaign will be selected through a lucky draw, he added. He also expressed contentment to have partnership with Himalayan Java.

Similarly, customers, who visit the Himalayan Java outlets, can get a 10 percent discount on Turkish Airlines tickets upon submission of Himalayan Java Invoice dated between July 4 and July 11, according to the airline.

Turkish Airlines is the only airline operating in Nepal, offering direct connectivity between Nepal and Europe.

NAC signs pact with AAR Corp to buy two wide-body jets

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) on Friday signed an agreement with US-based AAR Corp to procure two Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

The first aircraft will arrive by April, 2018

AirbusNepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) on Friday signed an agreement with US-based AAR Corp to procure two Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

As per the agreement, NAC will take delivery of the first aircraft by April 2018.

NAC Managing Director Sugat Ranta Kansakar and Deepak Sharma of AAR Corp signed the agreements on behalf of their respective institutions in Kathmandu.

The two aircraft will cost NAC US$ 209.6 million (around Rs 21.9 billion).

NAC and AAR Corp had signed a preliminary MoU for aircraft procurement on January 27. As per the MoU, NAC had sent advance payment of US$ 1 million to AAR Corp on February 15. The board of directors of NAC had approved a proposal to procure two wide-body aircraft on January 15. NAC had already signed an agreement with Employees’ Provident Fund to finance aircraft procurement.

Ten international companies had participated in international bidding to supply two wide-body aircraft to the NAC. AAR Corp had quoted the lowest price.

AAR Corp is delivering the aircraft produced by Airbus for Portuguese aircraft charter company Hi Fly. The US company bought the aircraft before they were delivered after Hi Fly faced financial problems. Both the aircraft are still at the Airbus factory in Tolouse, France.

Both the aircraft have 280 seats with 16 seats designated for business class passengers.
NAC plans operate the aircraft to Dammam of Saudi Arabia, Seoul of South Korea, Tokyo of Japan and Sydney of Australia, among others.

Earlier in June 2013, NAC had signed agreement with Airbus to procure Airbus A320-300 aircraft. The first aircraft landed in Kathmandu on February 8, 2015, while the second aircraft joined NAC’s fleet three months later.

Saurya acquires new Bombardier jet

Saurya Airlines had added a new Bombardier CRJ-200 series aircraft to its fleet.

Saurya

The Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft acquired by Saurya Airlines sits on the tarmac of Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.

Saurya Airlines had added a new Bombardier CRJ-200 series aircraft to its fleet.

According to the company, the aircraft has been acquired with an investment of Rs 1 billion.

Pilots of Bombardier flew the aircraft from the US to Nepal via Azerbaijan, the company said issuing a statement.

With the expansion in fleet, Saurya Airlines plans to expand its flights to different trunk routes. The airline has been flying to Bhadrapur, Biratnagar and Nepalgunj. Now, it plans to start scheduled flights to Bhairahawa and Dhangadhi as well.

Deepak Kumar Pokharel, the chairman of Saurya Airlines, said that the domestic carrier will add a third aircraft within three months. “Apart from trunk routes, we also have plan to start mountain flights,” he added.

The aircraft is configured to carry 50 passengers.

Goma Air adds two aircraft to its fleet

Domestic carrier Goma Air has added two 19-seater aircraft to its fleet.

Goma Air

File photo of LET L-410 aircraft acquired by Goma Air two years ago. Photo: Goma Air

Domestic carrier Goma Air has added two 19-seater aircraft to its fleet.

The two LET L410 UVP-E20s landed in Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Sunday. The twin-engine aircraft has 19 seats. The airline plans to operate the aircraft on different rural routes.

According to Goma Air, LET aircraft is manufactured by Czech company LET Kunovice. The L-410 aircraft was first produced in 1969. The company has so far produced 1,138 L-410s, and around 80 percent of them are in operation in different parts of the world. The L-410 use GE H80-200 engines and AV-725 propellers.

With these additions, the number of aircraft in Goma Air fleet has reached six. Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has given the aircraft 9N-AMG and 9N-AMH call signs.

The airline plans to press the aircraft into service after completing CAAN formalities within a week. The airline says the addition of new aircraft will enable it to operate scheduled flights to Lukla, Phaplu, Suketar, Khanidanda, Bhojpur, Manang, Mustang, Dolpa, Humla, Jumla, Mugu and Bajura.

Goma Air has also been operating Cessna Grand Caravan 208B single-engine aircraft