Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has taken delivery of the first of two new Airbus A320 jets equipped with Sharklets and sporting a new livery introduced by the airline in 2014 on its domestic fleet.
According to the manufacturer, NAC, which is Nepal’s national flag carrier, is moving to an all-Airbus jet fleet.
If the manufacturer’s statement is true, this indicates Nepal Airlines will use its two new Airbus A320 jets to replace two 190-seat Boeing 757-200s it has long had in service.
In Nepal Airlines service, its two A320s will each have eight Business Class and 150 Economy seats installed, in a two-class cabin configuration.
Following a hand-over at Airbus’ facility at Finkelwerder Airfield near Hamburg, the aircraft was welcomed at a ceremony attended by government and airline officials at its home base, upon its arrival at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport.
Based at Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA code KTM), NAC chose the A320 for its single-aisle fleet for its economics and performance capability from high-altitude airports, according to Airbus.
Nepal Airlines is due to receive its second new A320 in April.
The carrier’s A320s have Required Navigation Performance (RNP) capability built-in, enabling the aircraft to fly precisely along pre-defined routes using advanced-technology on-board navigation systems.
“Aviation is our window to the world and the world’s window to explorers, trekkers, cultural and ecological visitors to our ‘Naturally’ beautiful Nepal,” said Madan Kharel, managing director of Nepal Airlines Corporation.
“Our new A320 with Sharklets will help us to expand air services in the region, to increase capacity and to capitalise in the growth of high value tourism by offering our visitors world-class comfort and service levels,” added Kharel.
Nepal Airlines currently flies to four international destinations and 25 domestic locations in the heart of the Himalayas.
NAC also operates two de Havilland Canada Twin Otters, one Xian MA-60 turboprop and one Harbin Y-12 turboprop, and has one additional MA-60 and three more Y-12s on order. The Y-12s it has ordered are intended to replace the aging de Havilland Canada Twin Otters in Nepal Airlines service.
More than 11,500 Airbus A320-family aircraft have been sold to more than 400 customers and operators worldwide.