NAC's Boeings grounded


Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) cancelled all but one of its international flights on Tuesday, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded, after both of its Boeing-757 aircraft were grounded due to technical snags.

After conducting the first flight to New Delhi, one aircraft -- Boeing-757-9N-ACB could not return to Kathmandu, as it faced a technical glitch in its circuit breaker while starting its engines.

Another Boeing-757-9N-ACA has been grounded at Tribhuvan International Airport since Monday after NAC's maintenance staff found problems in its flaps during routine inspection. "The aircraft was grounded after serious cracks were traced in the aircraft's flaps," said BBS Kansakar, chief of NAC's Engineering Division. Since the repair is not possible here, NAC management is planning to ferry the aircraft to Brunei at the earliest, he added.

A number of passengers in New Delhi, Hong Kong, and Osaka, Japan have been stranded as NAC had scheduled flights to those destinations today.

Even though one aircraft, which is currently in New Delhi, is expected to return to operation on Wednesday, the next one will resume services only after a week after completion of repair at Brunei. As a result, NAC's several flights are expected to be affected in the coming week.

“We are trying to come up with a new schedule,” said B P Basyal, marketing director of NAC.

Technical snags in the state owned airlines occurred at a time when all international airlines flying to Nepal are packed. This has hampered travel schedules of both foreign tourists and locals resulting in further erosion of the national flag carrier's credibility. NAC is depending on over two-decade old twin Boeing-757s to fly to 10 destinations in seven countries.

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