By Our Reporter
The Nepal Airlines Corporation is facing a serious financial crisis due to several reasons. First of all, the mistake started when the Nepal Airlines management led by Sugatratna Kangsakar purchased two wide-body aircraft at a time when the European Union had blacklisted the entire Nepali aviation sector. Kangsakar, with the support of corrupt political leaders and government officials, in the greed for above four billion rupees as commission, purchased the aircraft without developing any marketing plans.
Due to lack of a proper marketing strategy and lack of new destinations to use for the two wide-body aircraft in a full-fledged manner, the Airlines has been facing continuous loss and it has demanded around 20 billion rupees as running capital to operate the Airlines. So far, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who is also looking after the Tourism and Civil Aviation portfolio, has rejected this demand of the Airline to provide the amount.
On the other hand, the government has decided to invest three billion rupees on the Shajha Yatayat to procure electricity buses. Shajha Yatayat has the record of facing a continuous loss even after the buses are always fully packed. When the private sector bus operators are making profit with a single bus, why is Shajha Yatayat facing losses, this is an issue for investigation for the investigation agencies under the Prime Minister’s office.
Of course, the government should support for the development of a proper public transportation system, as this is for the use of commoners. In the meantime, the government should not forget that NAC, the only Nepali flag career is strategically important for Nepal, which is a land-locked country. The air service is the only means of Nepal’s link with the world. Therefore, the government should support and encourage the NAC management to make its service more effective.
Why cannot NAC function smoothly, investigation has to be conducted. If the staffers are not professional, they should be dismissed. If the politically affiliated staff unions are the hurdles, these unions should be scrapped. If the management is not professional, they should be changed. If public procurement policy is the hurdle, it should be modified. If commission and corruption are the hurdles, they should be checked and discouraged. At any cost, all the aircraft belonging to the Airlines should fly.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO has already lifted the black-list on Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). Why the European Union did not lift the black category on CAAN earlier, the government has to enquire. In other destinations also, the Airlines has been asked to submit its safety audit. The government should facilitate the Airlines to complete the process through a fast track so that the Airlines could start the scheduled flights as soon as possible. The government should not shirk from its responsibility to operate the national Flag Career more effectively.