Insight: History Of Nepal Airlines : Flag Carrier Of Nepal

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) formerly known as Royal Nepal Airlines (RNAC) is the flag carrier of Nepal. Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation was established in 1958 making it an oldest airline of the country.

RNAC started it’s service with a Douglas DC-3.

List Of Aircrafts Of Nepal Airlines : Aircraft history Of Nepal Airlines.

1) Douglas DC-3

Douglas DC-3 was 28 seater aircraft which was in operating till  1973 A.D. Some of the primary destination of the aircraft was Nepal & India.

Image: ATDB

NAC had 8 DC-3’s Dakota which is now no longer in the service.

Image: Youtube


2) Fongshu Harvester AN-2

(Royal) Nepal Airlines Corporation also had Fongshu Harvester AN-2 in it’s service.  Fongshu Harvester AN-2 was single engine Chinese aircraft  which had a seating capacity up to 12.  NAC had 2 AN-2 in it’s service. They flew on domestic route till 1965.



3) Pilatus Porter PC-6

Pilatus Porter PC-6 was a single engined aircraft which began it’s service with (R)NAC in 1961. Pilatus Porter PC-6 was a swiss- manufactured single engine aircraft with seating capacity up to 6. PC-6 was STOL (Short Take Off and Landing ) aircraft. There were 3 PC-6 operated by NAC. This aircraft was mostly used in rural mountainous region.

List Of Aircrafts Of Nepal Airlines
Image: Markus Herzig

4) Fokker Friendship F-27

Fokker Friendship F-27 is one of the popular aircraft Nepal Airlines Corporation had in it’s fleet. Twin engine turboprop Fokker Friendship F-27 was manufactured in Netherlands and had seating capacity up to 44. It was in service from 1966 to 1970. It played vital role to provide services to  international destination at that time.

Image: ATDB

5) Hawker Siddley HS-748 Avro

Nepal Airlines started to use Hawker Siddley HS-748 Avro in 1970. The 44-seater plane was a British manufactured twin engine aircraft. Avro planes were used on domestic and international sectors. One of the popular sector in Nepalese aviation industry, First mountain flight was commenced by HS-748 Avro.

Image: ATDB


6) Twin Otter DHC-6

Twin Otter DHC-6 was a game changer. Nepal Airlines used Twin Otter DHC-6 in domestic routes . NAC started to use twin otter in 1976. 19 seater small aircraft played vital role in the expansion of the air network to the rural part of the Nation. Nepal Airlines still operates it’s service to the rural part of country with the Twin Otter.

Image: Kenneth I. Swartz Collection


7) Boeing 727

Boeing 727 was a symbol of the modern aviation era of Nepal as Nepal Airlines started to provide service with jet plane with Boeing 727 in 1972. It was an amazing aircraft manufactured in America, which used to carry up to 123 passengers. Boeing 727 remained in service till 1993. NAC had two B727 in its fleet.

Image: ATDB


8) Boeing 757

NAC started it’s Boeing 757-200  service in 1987. It helped to expand the brand of NAC to the international level. Boeing 757 has a seating  capacity up to 200. Recently, NAC sold one of it’s Boeing 757 and planning to sell another one too.


9) Airbus A310

We are unable to get the more information about this aircraft but NAC had 1 Airbus A310 in it’s service.  It was used by NAC from 1993 A.D to 1996 A.D. It has a D-APON registration. This aircraft is no longer in use as it was in service with Air Transit for the last time.


10) Boeing 767

Boeing 767 was the worst nightmare for (R)NAC as a large scandal revolved around the lease of a Boeing 767.  Boeing 767 was leased from Austria’s Lauda Air. Boeing 767 can seated up to 251. It was the first wide body used by Nepal Airlines.


11) Modern Ark 60 (MA60)

After so many years of using Chinese Fongshu Harvester AN-2 in it’s service, NAC is using the China manufactured Model Ark MA-60. It has seating capacity up to 58.

Image: Rui Miguel



12) Harbin Y-12e

Harbin Y-12e is another Chinese aircraft currently in used. Harbin Y-12e is a 17- seater twin engine turbo prop Aircraft which is mainly used in STOL ( Short Take Off and Landing ) sector. It is being compared to a Twin Otter DHC6-300. The first of the Y12 E landed on Kathmandu on November 2014.


13) Airbus 320

Nepal Airlines is serving to international destination with  two brand newA320-200 SL. First Airbus A320-200, a 158 passenger seat (9N-AKW) ( 8 business class and 150 economy class) landed in TIA on February 2015 and another one NAC (9N-AKX) on May 2, 2015.

Nepal Airlines Airbus
Image: Airbus

14) Airbus A300-200

NA had a very bad history with first wide body aircraft which they leased from Lauda Air. Meanwhile, Nepal Airlines has come a long way to have it’s own wide body aircraft. First Airbus A300-200 landed in Kathmandu on June 28, 2018 while another one landed on July 26, 2018.




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