According to the Kathmandu Post, the first shipment of Chinese planes arrived in 2014 and their operation is more expensive than the cost of the planes. Nepal Airlines is going through a serious loss. In July 2020, the board of the corporation got fed up and decided to put these planes in storage. Five idle planes, including three 17-seater Y12e aircraft and two 56-seater MA60 aircraft, are parked in a remote parking lot on the eastern side of Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.
Corrosion poses a threat to safety
Another plane crashed in Nepalgunj and is no longer in flying condition. According to the report, it can be seen in the pictures of the aircraft that the rear part of the Y12e is covered with moss. Not only this, many parts of the plane, which are made of metal, are now rusting. A senior captain of Nepal Airlines, on condition of anonymity, said, “These aircraft are susceptible to corrosion.” Corrosion weakens the plane’s metal and its parts, which can not only pose a safety hazard but are also extremely costly to maintain.
I don’t know how long the plane will fly
The captain said that no one had seen what condition the planes were in. No one knows for how many more years these planes will stand on the ground like this. Officials of some private airlines say that the process of long storage has not been followed with parked planes. Ultimately this will lead to a drop in the value of the aircraft. In November 2012, Nepal Airlines signed a commercial agreement with the Chinese government’s Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) for the production of six aircraft.
Nepal trapped in China’s trap
To make the deal easier, China gave a loan of about 6.67 billion rupees to Nepal. Of some amount, Rs 2.94 billion was paid for a MA60 and a Y12e aircraft. Other aircraft were purchased for Rs 3.72 billion. China’s EXIM Bank had provided a loan for this. As per the deal, the Nepal government has to pay annual interest at the rate of 1.5 per cent and service charge and maintenance expenses at 0.4 per cent of the total loan taken by the finance ministry.