Nepal Airlines adds new Chinese aircraft

The MA-60 has a poor safety record
The MA-60 has a poor safety record

Nepal Airlines has continued the process of bolstering its fleet with the arrival of two new Chinese turboprop aircraft.

The national carrier, which has suffered from lack of aircraft in recent years, welcomed the pair of brand new 56-seat MA-60 aircraft on 26 January and 1 February 2017.

These deliveries form part of an agreement between Nepal Airlines and Chinese planemaker AVIC, which was signed in 2012 and includes six aircraft – two MA60 and four smaller Y-12s. Two of the Y-12s have already been delivered with two more still to come.

The MA-60 has a questionable safety record, having suffered several crashes and runway excursions in recent years. Landing gear and steering column failures have been cited as the cause of several incidents, and a Wall Street Journal report labelled the aircraft a “tarnished turboprop”. The deal with Nepal Airlines included favourable financial terms.

Nepal Airlines’ fleet now comprises European Airbus jets and Canadian Twin-Otters, as well as the Chinese aircraft.

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