On 8 August the Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation decided to purchase an ATR 72-500 for its domestic services. The aircraft is being purchased on the recommendation of a committee formed to evaluate the purchase of an aircraft for international flights.
The RNAC management says that different committees formed for the purpose recommended the ATR 72-500. The corporation had begun studying the possible purchase after its competitive position in the domestic sector began to weaken. The choice was between the ATR and de Havilland\'s Dash-8 400.
Now de Havilland has been saying that the selection has not been impartial and that RNAC\'s decision is designed to serve the interests of a certain group. It has also charged that kickbacks worth Rs 300 million was involved in the decision.
Any commission received in this way reaches the Prime Minister directly. It is also said that a directive has been issued from the Prime Minister to decide on the ATR. And the tourism minister is also said to have put pressure RNAC to decide in ATR\'s favour. Sources say there was also pressure to buy the aircraft which costs Rs 1.1 billion a piece at Rs 1.25 billion.