KATHMANDU, Nov 6: The two-day talks between senior officials of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and Airbus, the leading European aircraft manufacturer, began on Tuesday. But the four hours meeting on the first day of the talks did not touch on aircraft procurement deal that the two sides signed three years ago.
“The Airbus officials briefed about the development of the company over the three years along with the features of the enhanced version of aircraft,” said Acting Managing Director of NAC Raju KC, who led the three-member talk committee of NAC. He told Republica that the talks on the day proceeded positively, but the aircraft procurement deal, which is considered a sensitive issue, will be discussed on Wednesday only.
Senior Sales Director of Airbus Sheel Shukla is leading the Airbus team in the talks.
NAC had invited Airbus officials to discuss the legal status of the agreement signed in December 2009 for the procurement of one narrow-body and one wide-body aircraft. But as the corporation could not materialize the deal following controversy over payment of lock-up money, it has now decided to go for a fresh process.
According to a senior official of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), NAC plans to request Airbus to annul the past deal and supply it with two narrow-body aircraft through new process.
The government on October 16 had directed the MoCTCA and Ministry of Finance to conclude the procurement process for eight aircrafts for NAC. The Immediate Governance and Economy Development Action Plan asks the ministries to procure two aircraft for international and six for domestic routes for NAC.