BY PRAJWAL SHRESTHA
(Royal) Nepal Airlines Corporation (R)NAC observed its 58th anniversary last week. The officials claimed that in spite of rampant political intervention and bad management, NAC was able to retain and after introduction of two narrow-bodyiesy Airbus, the Corporation has been able to make profit and payback regular installments.
At a time when it has been able to make profit from its international service, in domestic front, NAC is still facing a heavy loss. There is a strong lobby defaming the newly introduced two Chinese aircrafts. This lobby is creating propaganda that the Chinese aircrafts are not suitable for the Nepali sky. The fact is that before bringing the aircraft, our experts had carried out all the tests including the test flights. After arrival of the aircrafts, the officials are saying that the Airlines has not been able to earn the amount even to pay the insurance bill. Yet, other aircrafts ordered by Nepal are in a ready position but the concerned authorities have performed reluctance in bringing the aircrafts. According to sources, those officials are unofficial agents of the European aircraft manufacturing companies producing small and medium sized aircrafts. The very groups are involved in defaming the China made aircraft. To recall, years before, such Chinese aircrafts were already in operation in Nepal.
Royal Nepal Airlines’ decline started along with introduction of multiparty democracy. The then prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala made the Airlines as money making machine for himself as well as for the party. He disposed a flying-conditioned Boeing 727 aircraft. Instead of giving government guarantee to acquire brand new aircrafts, he gave the instruction to lease aircrafts for a short period under the influence of the commission agents. In this way, the airlines was ruined financially. Also, some officials were brokering for purchase of Boeing aircraft whereas some were brokering for Airbus. They were receiving money from the concern companies to lobby the political leaders, bureaucrats and even media. In this way, confusion was created in purchase of the aircraft.
Be that as it may, the Corporation was heavily politicized. and pPolitical level corruption as well as commission destroyed the image of the Corporation.
Still, all is not okay in the Corporation. The staffers, except from a few, don’t think for the betterment of the Corporation, rather, they are running behind commission and corruption. The administration is disturbed from different trade unions and traditional laws and regulations. By maintaining such a traditional trend, the Airlines cannot achieve success as desired. Therefore, somehow, to make the Corporation capable, either the corporation should be made an autonomous organ avoiding political interference or the management should be handed over to the private sector by disposing 51 percent of the government shares to the private sector. At any cost, we need our flag career having professional and competitive staffers and capable management. The government should support the corporation to acquire new jet aircrafts for its international services. Also, it is necessary to clean the Corporation by quitting those brokers of different companies as well as the politically appointed non-professional but political activists.