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Airlines object to Minister Ale’s decision to not allow companies to purchase old aircraft

File: Tribhuvan International Airport
File: Tribhuvan International Airport

Kathmandu, June 17

The Airlines Operators Association of Nepal has objected to the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Prem Ale’s decision to not allow companies to purchase old aircraft.

In a letter written to prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, the airline companies have asked the government to not restrict the purchase of old aircraft as they called Ale’s decision arbitrary, impractical and irrational.

The association’s president Rameshwar Thapa says the minister giving such a statement without discussions with airline operators was wrong.

Speaking at the House of Representatives on June 15, Ale had said that he was making a decision to not allow companies to purchase pressurised and non-pressurised aircraft older than 10 and 15 years respectively. Currently, companies can purchase pressurised and non-pressurised aircraft older than 15 and 20 years respectively.

But, Thapa says airline operators have been regularly changing parts of the aircraft according to international standards, hence there should not be any problem in operating the old aircraft also.

“People compare plane crashes to the age of the aircraft. This is wrong because if it was the case, the incident report would say so. If the government brings such a rule, air travel will become a lot expensive,” says Thapa in the context of a recent Tara Air crash.

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