Nepal’s national carrier, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for one A330-200 and one A320 aircraft to modernise its international fleet.

The A330-200 has seating for up to 293 passengers and can travel 6,750nm at Mach 0.86, while the A320 family of aircraft can fly up to 185 passengers a maximum distance of 2,600nm a a speed of Mach 0.82.

The new aircraft will serve on international routes to Japan and will connect Nepal to Europe with direct flights for the first time.

The A330-200 will be deployed on routes to Europe and North Asia and will play an instrumental role in developing Nepal’s tourism industry especially in the country’s ‘Visit Nepal 2011’ campaign to attract foreign tourists.

Nepal Airlines executive chairman Sugat Ratna Kansakar said that they have seen tremendous growth in tourism over recent years and they want to capitalise on the A330s unique performance and range to offer direct services to key long-haul markets and to develop new ones.

NAC will use the A320 on regional routes to the Middle East and South-East Asia.