First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: The Rashtriya Swatantra Party has thrown its weight behind the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), endorsing what seems to be an unnecessary push towards nationalism, despite overlooking pertinent facts and data.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has raised concerns by submitting a letter to the Prime Minister, expressing support for the NAC’s seemingly misguided pursuit of a nationalist agenda, which has been criticized for its questionable practices.
Recently, the CAAN opted for a competitive selection process while appointing a company for ground handling services at the airport, as per the ‘Airport Service Regulations 2021’.
In response to this decision, the Rashtriya Swatantra Party has rallied behind the NAC, citing reasons such as experience, investment, income, and national security for its support. However, critics argue that these reasons lack a factual basis.
The NAC, having secured the ground handling responsibility at the international airport without competition, has faced criticism for its failure to enhance the quality of its services, as reported by the Aviation Authority.
Complaints from both airline companies and air passengers highlight issues such as stolen luggage and lost items, prompting dissatisfaction with the NAC’s ground handling services.
Three years ago, the NAC proposed further investment to improve the quality and convenience of its ground handling services. However, Yuvraj Adhikari, the executive chairman of the NAC, dismissed the plan, emphasizing that the income from ground handling was steady, regardless of service quality.
The Rashtriya Swatantra Party’s support for the NAC, as outlined in a letter signed by its vice-chairman Dol Prasad Aryal, appears to overlook the distortions made by the corporation in operating ground handling services at Tribhuvan International Airport.
Critics argue that the Party neglects the fact that, according to the CAAN Act and Regulations, the ground handling authority falls under the jurisdiction of the CAAN.
Instead of recommending improvements to the NAC’s services, the Rashtriya Swatantra Party advocates for the continuation of the status quo. Critics emphasize that the ground handling services provided by the NAC are among the most expensive globally, with the corporation turning ground handling into a center for worker recruitment.
While the NAC generates an annual income of five billion rupees from ground handling services, critics assert that the quality of service remains stagnant.
The CAAN believes that introducing competition in the selection of a ground handling company will not only enhance service quality but also reduce costs for airline companies and increase CAAN’s revenue.
The Rashtriya Swatantra Party’s silence on various issues, including financial losses, aircraft profitability, and engine rentals, raises questions about its role in addressing critical concerns within the NAC. Critics argue that the Party’s endorsement of the corporation’s practices, even in the face of shortcomings, may undermine efforts to improve the quality of services and foster competition in the aviation sector.
In light of these developments, concerns have been raised about the Rashtriya Swatantra Party’s apparent disregard for facts and figures, as well as its willingness to endorse a nationalistic approach without considering the potential benefits of competition and improved service quality in the aviation industry.
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