June 24: Nepal Airlines Corporation is likely to obtain the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from China within a week. The flag carrier had sought permission from Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for conducting flights to China. The CAAC has initiated the process to grant the AOC to Nepal Airlines Corporation after receiving all required documents and completing all the procedures, according to Navaraj Koirala, deputy spokesperson of NAC.
“We have submitted all the required documents to CAAC. With the approval of those documents, we are not expecting to get the AOC within a week,” he said.
Nepal Airlines Corporation has plans to operate flights to the Chinese capital Beijing as well as other major industrial hubs like Guangzhou and Shanghai.
Currently, five Chinese airlines conduct 54 flights a week between Nepal and China. However, none of the Nepali airlines have got the license to operate flights between the two countries.
Even after procuring two new wide-body aircraft, NAC has been operating short-distance flights to cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Doha and Dubai only.
Flights to China is expected to give a boost to the airline company as China ranks second only after India in terms of sending tourists to Nepal. In 2018, altogether 153,672 Chinese tourists had visited Nepal.
Deputy Spokesperson Koirala said that the state-run airline is trying to operate flights in the long route after adding two new Airbus to its fleet. NAC has postponed its scheduled flights to Japan by a month citing lack of passengers.