|Founded||23 April 1996; 26 years ago (1996-04-23)|
|Commenced operations||11 October 1997; 24 years ago (1997-10-11)|
|Hubs||Tribhuvan International Airport|
|Secondary hubs||Pokhara Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Royal Club|
|Headquarters||Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, Nepal|
Buddha Air Pvt. Ltd (Nepali: बुद्ध एयर) is an airline based in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, Nepal, near Patan. It operates domestic as well as international services within Nepal and India, serving mainly large towns and cities in Nepal. Currently, it operates 33 flight routes to 14 destinations of Nepal and an international flight to Varanasi of India. Its main base is Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. It was the largest domestic carrier in terms of passengers carried in 2020.
The airline was established on 23 April 1996 as a Private Limited Company by Surendra Bahadur Basnet, a retired Supreme Court judge and former government minister; and his son Birendra Bahadur Basnet. The name of the airline is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Buddha', a title used for the much revered Siddhartha Gautama. Operations commenced on 11 October 1997 with a sightseeing flight to Mount Everest using a brand new Beechcraft 1900D. In 2001, the airline partnered with the Bhutanese flag carrier Drukair by whom an aircraft was chartered. Within ten years the company had expanded to a fleet of seven 1900Ds. In 2008 a loan from the International Finance Corporation allowed the company to expand further by purchasing two ATR 42 aircraft. Buddha Air took delivery of its first 70-seat ATR 72-212 in June 2010.
In 2020, Buddha Air announced first plans to enter the rural aviation market in Nepal by serving smaller STOL-airfields by Fall 2021. This subsidiary called Yashodhara Air was set up in January 2021 with the aim of operating by 2022.
In 2011, Buddha Air began international flights from Pokhara Airport to Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow, India, however these flights were discontinued soon after. The airline also announced plans to fly to New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport in the future. Internationally, Varanasi Airport is also seasonally served from Tribhuvan International Airport.
|India||Guwahati||GAU||VEGT||Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport||Terminated|||
|Kolkata||CCU||VECC||Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport||Terminated|||
|Lucknow||LKO||VILK||Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport||Terminated|||
|Varanasi||VNS||VEBN||Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport|
|Nepal||Kathmandu||KTM||VNKT||Tribhuvan International Airport||Hub|
|Bhairahawa||BWA||VNBW||Gautam Buddha Airport|
|Jitpur Simara||SIF||VNSI||Simara Airport|
|Pokhara||PKR||VNPK||Pokhara Airport||Focus city|
Buddha Air also operates scheduled mountain sightseeing flights from Kathmandu to Mount Everest range and from Pokhara to the Annapurna Massif. The flights usually depart in the early morning hours and return to the respective airports one hour later.
Buddha Air is the first airline in Nepal, and one of few in South Asia, to have a state of the art closed-door hangar facility. Built at a cost of US$2.5 million at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Buddha Air also provides aircraft maintenance facilities to other airlines as well, particularly the Bangladeshi airline Novoair which sends its ATR aircraft for maintenance at the hangar.
Accidents and incidents
- On 11 November 2003, a scheduled Buddha Air flight from Kathmandu en route to Biratnagar mistakenly landed in Bhairahawa Airport, owing to the air traffic and a subsequent slip-up in communication in Kathmandu.
- On 25 September 2011, Buddha Air Flight 103 crashed near the end of a sightseeing flight of the Mount Everest region. All 19 passengers and crew on board the Beechcraft 1900D died when it crashed near Kathmandu's airport while attempting to land. Out of the 19 passengers, 10 were Indian nationals, 2 were US nationals, 1 Japanese and 6 were Nepalese. The crew of 3 were also Nepalese.
- On 18 December 2020, Buddha Air Flight 505, which took off from Tribhuvan International Airport en route to Janakpur Airport landed in Pokhara Airport. According to the airline, there was a mixup due to lapses in communication and failure to follow detailed standard operating procedures.
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- ^ "Bigger Aircraft Better Comfort in Nepalese SKY" (Press release). Buddha Air. 21 June 2010. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- ^ Prasain, Sangam (December 5, 2020). "Buddha Air plans to fly to remote areas could be a game changer in domestic aviation, experts say". The Kathmandu Post. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
- ^ "New Buddha Air subsidiary, Yashodhara Air, to commence operations in 2022". CAPA. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
- ^ Buddha Air in service Archived 15 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Bhutan Broadcasting Service, 24 August 2010.
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- ^ "International Schedule". Buddha Air. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- ^ "Buddha Air prepares to operate flights at its new international destination: Guwahati". Aviation Nepal. 19 April 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- ^ "Buddha Air to launch budget flights to Kolkata".
- ^ "High operating costs and few passengers force Buddha Air to cancel Kolkata flights". The Kathmandu Post. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
- ^ "Buddha Air set to start Lucknow service today". The Kathmandu Post. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
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- ^ "#HappyAlert". Buddha Air. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
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- ^ World Air Routes retrieved 18 November 2006
- ^ "Buddha Air Fleet Details and History". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
- ^ "Buddha Air settles on Airbus for int'l ops". ch-aviation. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
- ^ "Nepal's Buddha Air Plans Fleet Expansion". Smart Aviation Asia Pacific. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
- ^ "Another ATR 72-500 will join the fleet of Buddha Air tomorrow". Aviation Nepal. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
- ^ "BUDDHA AIR - FLEET". Planelogger. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
- ^ "Buddha Air to build hangar in Pokhara". Aviation Nepal. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- ^ Singh Khadka, Navin (14 November 2003). "Winging it". Nepali Times. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
- ^ "Mount Everest Tour Plane Crashes in Nepal." NYCAviation. 25 September 2011
- ^ "Nepal tourist plane crashes near Kathmandu killing 19" BBC News. 25 September 2011
- ^ Prasain, Sangam (20 December 2020). "How a Buddha Air plane flew the wrong way and landed 255 kilometres away". The Kathmandu Post. Archived from the original on 2020-12-20. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
- ^ "Nepali airline Buddha Air flies passengers to the wrong airport". CNN. 23 December 2020. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
- ^ "Nepal Police and Morang match end in draw". The Kathmandu Post. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
- Official website