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Nepal's national flag carrier to purchase wide body aircraft

KATHMANDU, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Nepal's national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is all set to purchase wide-body aircraft for the first time in its history.

The NAC on Friday signed a purchase agreement with U.S.-based AAR Corp, the American aviation support company for the supply of two airbus planes A320-200. The U.S.-based company was awarded contract in January after it quoted the lowest amount in a bidding process.

NAC Managing Director Sugat Ratna Kansakar and AAR's representative Deepak Sharma signed the agreement on Friday. Based on the agreement, the AAR will supply both aircraft in the second quarter of 2018 at the combined cost of 209.6 million U.S. dollar, the NAC said in a press release.

Kanskar told Xinhua that the first ever acquisition of wide-body aircraft would help the national flag carrier conduct direct flight to far away destinations.

"We had conducted flights to European destinations like London in the past with narrow-body aircraft but we had to stop mid-way for refueling," said Kanskar.

After acquiring these aircraft, the NAC has planned to conduct flights to destinations such as South Korea, Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia.

Kansakar said that after acquiring the two wide-body aircraft, the NAC targets to secure 15-16 percent market share from among the international airlines which carry passengers from and to Kathmandu. Currently, its market share is around 11 percent as of 2016.

Currently, NAC has been conducting international flights with its one Boeing 757-200 and two Airbus 320-200.

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