On Friday Nepal Airlines issued an auction notice for it’s last remaining Boeing 757. The plane is special in that it’s the only true 757 combi (B757m) that Boeing ever built. For those that don’t know, a combi aircraft is one that holds both passengers and cargo. The plane entered service with Royal Nepal Airlines (now Nepal Airlines) in September of 1988 and has stayed with the company since. The aging jet is also the last Boeing built aircraft flying for the company and the last Boeing flying commercially in Nepal.
The airline is hoping to get around $5.4m for the 31 year old plane. “An expert committee has been formed to auction the Boeing. The auction notice will be issued on Friday,” said the executive chairman of Nepal Airlines, Madan Kharel. “It’s a long process. We have to give 45 days for potential buyers to submit their bids.”
The airline originally planned to perform a final engine overhaul or “C-check” in hopes of increasing the resale value of the aircraft but has since abandoned the idea. “The Boeing was due for a C-check, but we decided not to do it because it will cost us Rs200-250 million,” Kharel said.
The airline had planned on selling the 757 when their received their first two A330-200s in the summer of 2018 but stopped the auction following allegations of financial irregularities on the purchase of the new aircraft.
Nepal Airlines had previously operated two other 757 aircraft which they received in 1987, they decided to start selling off the vintage aircraft due to the high cost of operating an out of production aircraft.
The 757 is still in use with many American operators such as Delta and American and are also very popular for cargo use, however, most other European and Asian airlines have started to replace them with more modern aircraft. The final 757 came off the Boeing assembly line in 2004.