NAC interested to operate ground-handling in Pokhara

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By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Nov. 23: The Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has requested the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to allow it to provide ground-handling services at the under construction Pokhara International Airport.

Issuing a formal statement on Tuesday, the Corporation reminded CAAN that it had been certified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for its ground operations and that it had successfully been handling the ground operations at Nepal’s busiest Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and the Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA).

“The corporation has the necessary experience, skilled manpower and technical resources to provide efficient ground handling to national and international airlines at Pokhara,” the statement, signed by Archana Khadka, spokesperson for the NAC, stated.

Similarly, it has expressed sadness over the reduction of its Kathmandu-Delhi flights.

On September 15, NAC had written to CAAN, seeking permission to operate 14 flights between the Nepali and Indian capitals per week. However, the Authority only permitted 10.

“This shall not only reduce the Corporation’s income but also increase its expenses as it will have to re-route passengers,” the statement read.

The Kathmandu-Delhi route is one of the most profitable routes for the state-owned carrier and one that it operates as a historic slot. This means that this route cannot be withdrawn from an airline to accommodate new entrants or any other category of aircraft operator – a fact that the Corporation noted in the statement aimed at the Civil Aviation Authority.

Furthermore, NAC informed that it would operate four flights a week between Bhairahawa’s GBIA and New Delhi, meeting CAAN’s requirements. “In light of this fact too, we hope CAAN will reconsider its decisoin,” Khadka said.

Currently, NAC, Nepal’s flag carrier, flies to 10 international destinations, namely, New Delhi, Mumbai, Banglore, Doha, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Riyadh, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Narita.

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