By Our Reporter
Nepal Airlines that has been mired by corruption scandal after the purchasing of the two wide-body aircraft has faced another set back after the European Commission decided to continue its ban on all Nepali airlines from flying within the 28-nation bloc of the European Union.
Mentioning that the European Aviation Agency found no change in the country’s five-year-old status as far as air safety is concerned, the commission stated that all Nepali air carriers were still prohibited from flying into the EU.
“All Nepali airlines are still subject to an operating ban due to lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities,” EC stated in its updated air safety list which was made public in Brussels last week.
The EC placed Nepal among 15 nations facing such a ban, meaning all air carriers certified by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal are ineligible to operate services in EU.
A meeting of the European Aviation Safety Agency held in Brussels from November 13 to 15 decided to impose a ban to 115 airlines, including the NAC certified airlines.
Meanwhile, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has decided to reassign the contract to lengthen the runway to a Nepali joint venture after the original contractor disappeared without starting work more than a year ago.
The Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project said it would sign a contract worth nearly Rs1 billion with Kalika-Tundi since the previous constructor, Shanxi Construction Engineering Group of China, fled abandoning its performance bond.
The Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a contract with Shanxi Construction to extend the runway by 300 metres at its southern end in October last year. The project terminated the contract with the Chinese company in August and confiscated its Rs.70 million performance bond for non-performance.
The project aims to increase the safety area of the runway by 300 metres at the southern end.
The project has been delayed by a year. This is the second time that the runway extension plan has been left in limbo. Previously, a Spanish company Constructora Sanjose was hired to implement the project, but it had to be sent off for non-performance in December 2016.