After nearly three decades Nepal Airlines is going to receive some new aircrafts. Since the beginning of the procurement process it has always been plagued with controversy. Now a debate may arise due to its disputed new livery. After the airline had placed firm orders, it decided to change the old livery and give a fresh look. It was also done to ‘revamp’ the tarnished image of the airliner.
I believe NA officials finalized the new livery in haste. The new design has our national flag fluttering in the opposite direction of the wind. The sun and the moon are incomplete. Since most of the Nepali population are firm believer in astrology, anything incomplete is considered not good. At least the two symbols of our national flag must have been complete. Furthermore, the Sun and the moon seems to tore apart some of the portion of our flag. I wonder why this was left unattended and did not come into the notice of the decision makers.
Though, these are only imaginative concepts and does not necessarily affect the performance of the aircraft, it somewhat reminds us the corruption and mismanagement in the organisation. Giving a fresh livery is a good thing but the real change must come in the attitude of the airline staffs.
I have flown more than 20 times to different destinations in this airline in both seating arrangements it has to offer. If you are seated in a business class then rest assured that the service provided will be fair and good if not ‘exceptional’. However, if you have bought an economy class (which most of us do) then buckle yourself for a disastrous life experience. Now someone may argue that this is not fair to rate NA with so low grades. Consider this, in a three hours flight from Kathmandu to Bangkok; you are provided snacks and lunch at periodical intervals. What if you are served both at the same time? You want some water to drink and pressed the call sign but the flight attendant comes to your rescue after 20 minutes. You want some more water and all you receive is a cold look. After a couple of hours you may wish to use the lavatory but the flight attendant abruptly instructs you to remain in your seat as there are already other passengers in the line waiting for their turn. Before you could reach the point someone else has again taken your position.
Furthermore, you are judged by your appearance. If you are well dressed and do not fall under the category of ‘migrant workers’ then things may go smoothly. Since most of the passengers in the economy class are migrant workers, they might not be familiar with the ‘code of conduct’ inside an aircraft. For most of them it’s their first experience of flight.
What a flight attendant forgets is that even these migrant workers deserve respect. They too are Nepalese citizens and are the driving force of our miserable economy. What more, migrant worker tops the chart of number of passengers booking in NA.
Unless these issues are addressed, merely changing the livery may not be fruitful to the airliner.