It was announced on Monday (April 29, 2013) that Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) had signed an agreement with Airbus for the purchase of two short- to medium-range A320 planes in a deal worth $183 million (140 million euros) at catalogue prices.
The planes will come with so-called “sharklets”, fin-like devices fixed at the end of wings to reduce fuel burn, and can also be fitted with a navigation technique called RNP that allows an aircraft to fly precisely along a specific path.
According to Airbus, RNP would be “particularly useful for operations at high altitude airports which are constrained by mountains such as (the capital) Kathmandu.”
“For a landlocked nation, aviation really is our window to the world and the world’s window to us,” Madan Kharel, managing director of NAC, said in the statement.
“Adding the A320 to our fleet will help us to capitalise on tourism growth and to enhance our network using the most fuel efficient aircraft available.”
Founded in 1958, NAC currently flies to four international destinations and 25 domestic airports in the heart of the Himalayas.
Planes are a key method of transport in the mountainous country, where some remote areas can be accessed more easily by air than by road.