Nepal Airlines signs MoU for two A320s

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Nepal Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to order two Sharklet-equipped Airbus A320s.

Engine selection, which will either be the CFM International CFM56 or International Aero Engines V2500, has not been announced yet.

Airbus says that the two aircraft will be equipped for required navigation performance, allowing them operate from high altitude and terrain-constrained airports, such as the airline's Kathmandu headquarters.

"Adding the A320 to our fleet, will help us to capitalise on tourism growth and to enhance our network using the most fuel efficient aircraft available," says Nepal Airlines' managing director Madan Kharel.

The MoU follows an earlier agreement signed between the carrier and Airbus for one A320 and one A330-200 at the 2009 Dubai air show. The airline, however, never took delivery of the aircraft after the country's ministry of finance refused to guarantee a loan for the purchase.

According to recent media reports quoting Kharel, the airline has approached its Employees Provident Fund to finance the purchase of the two A320s.

Flightglobal Pro data shows that Nepal Airlines operates a fleet of two Boeing 757-200s and five de Havilland DHC6-300 Twin Otters. It also has orders for five Xian MA60s.

In addition to an extensive domestic network, Nepal Airlines also flies internationally from Kathmandu to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Doha.