Nepal Airlines first wide-body aircraft A330-243 ‘Annapurna’ touches down where it belongs
Nepal Airlines Corporation achieves another milestone as The national flag carrier received its first wide-body aircraft A330-243 ‘Annapurna’ with registration ‘9N-ALY’ touched down Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) today. The aircraft arrived from Toulouse, France under the command of two foreign pilots (Captain TRI Vinceno Termante and Flight Officer Joao Cesar Vieira-da Silva) from Hi Fly with 9 hours of flight time.
With the new aircraft Nepal Airline will initiate commercial flight operation from 1st August 2018 after acquiring necessary permissions from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). The wide-body aircraft will be operated by senior pilots from NAC.
The first aircraft will fly in the Kathmandu-Dubai/Doha route where NAC has been conducting its flight. Since there is a regulation that new aircraft can only fly in new route after flying 2-3 months in the existing routes, so it will fly in new routes (Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia) only after 3 months. Nepal Airlines is also planning to initiate direct flight to Sydney for the first time.
The 2nd wide-body A330 nicknamed as ‘Dhaulagiri’ will be arriving by the end of July as it has already completed necessary test flights. The two A330-200s, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, feature a two-class cabin configuration that will seat a total of 274 passengers—18 in business class and 256 in economy class.
NAC currently operates two Airbus A320s and a Boeing 757s. The carrier’s international network includes routes from Kathmandu to Doha (Qatar), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Hong Kong, Bangkok (Thailand) and Dubai as well to Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai (India).
Nepal Airlines was one of the top airlines to operate international flights and to provide air services to passengers in 2016 from TIA, however, in 2017 the corporation could not maintain the same position. Due to a decrease in flight frequency because of numerous reasons, NAC got the second position whereas Jet Airways, an Indian private airline operator topped the list. Now, NAC is expecting a positive business growth from the addition of new aircraft to regain the top position.