Nepal Airlines Corporation - a Brief History

Topics: Kathmandu, De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, Nepal Airlines Pages: 7 (2190 words) Published: December 28, 2008



The development of aviation in Nepal can be traced back to the mid 1940's, when a lone pilot who spluttered over the mountains, dipped into Kathmandu valley landing on a cow grazing field. That field, Gaucharan, is now the site of Nepal's only international airport. In April of '49, a single engine (seated) vintage Bonanza aircraft of Indian Ambassador Mr. Sarjeet Singh Mahatahia landed at Gaucharan and thus heralded the beginning of aviation in Nepal.

Himalayan aviation Douglas DC-3(VT-DCE) Dakota aircraft started three flights a week scheduled flights between Patna and Kathmandu. Another Dakota VT-CBC brought in king Tribhuvan from Patna on the 18th of February, 1951, to announce the drawn of democracy in Nepal. The Government of India donated this aircraft to Nepal. Later, Indian National Airlines started flights between Calcutta and Kathmandu.

The advent of commercial aviation in Nepal was the outcome of democratic spirit if 1951 when a private airlines from India, Indian national Airways was allowed to link Kathmandu with Patna, three flight a week. Commercial Services to Pokhra, Bhairawa, Simara and Biratnagar from Kathmandu were launched with a Dakota DC-3. After the nationalization of air services in India, eight domestic private carriers were merged to form Indian airlines.

Encouraged by the domestic needs to accelerate the pace of development in this land locked and road less country, HMG nationalized the air transport system in Nepal to form Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation on 1 July 1958. The management of the airline was contracted out to managing agent Maharaja Kumar of Mayurbhanj who held 49% share in NAC and bought the first DC-3 9N-AAB from Indian Airlines Associates. He is said to have collected some 75,000 IC from his uncle to start NAC in 1958.

Capt. Jay Singh was the first pilot to fly the scheduled flight to Simara on 4th July 1958 Pokhara and Bhairawaha on the 5th and Biratnagar on the 6th. On 12th October 1959 the government6 took full control of the airlines and appointed an administrator. The airlines took up a route and fleet expansion program and managed domestic air transport services in a safe, efficient, well managed, economical and proper manner. Beginning with one Dakota DC-3 aircraft operating to 4 domestic airports in 1985, the airlines has grown to have a modern fleet of Boeing 757s and STOL equipment servicing 38 domestic airports plus ten international destinations covering half the globe between Osaka in the east to London in the west. Airlines contributed significantly in developing the remote areas through STOL air services and national tourism industry through STOL air services and national tourism industry through jet services.

NAC previously known as Royal Nepal Corporation was established in July 1958 through the enactment of RNAC Act 2019 as joint venture with Indian Managing agent. Since its establishment it has been playing important role in the socio-economic and tourism development in the country through its extensive domestic and international air transport services.

At present NAC operates 10 International destinations namely Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai in India, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Kuala Lumpur in South East/Far East and Dubai in Middle East. Direct flight to and from Dubai were resumed from June 17, 2002 and flights to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are recently operated from March, 31st 2003. In Domestic operations it connects more than 30 destinations inside Nepal.

NAC has eight departments at corporate level to reinforce professionalism with necessary institutional support. Further for the purpose of assistance in proper and rational decision making, NAC has established an advisory cell to provide at the time of making major decisions, a standing committee and an internal audit mechanism under its chief executives. To...
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