Buddha Air

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Buddha Air
बुद्ध एयर
Buddha Air logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 23 April 1996; 22 years ago (1996-04-23)
Commenced operations 11 October 1997; 21 years ago (1997-10-11)
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Royal Club
Fleet size 11
Destinations 15
Company slogan Fly with us
Headquarters Jawalakhel, Nepal
Key people Surendra Bahadur Basnet (Company Chairman)
Birendra Bahadur Basnet (Managing Director)
Employees 900+ [1]
Website www.buddhaair.com

Buddha Air Pvt. Ltd (Nepali: बुद्ध एयर) is an airline based in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur District, Nepal, near Patan.[2][3] It operates domestic as well as international services within Nepal and India, serving mainly large towns and cities in Nepal, linking Kathmandu with ten destinations and Varanasi of India since its establishment.[4] Its main base is Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.[5] It also operates mountain flights from Kathmandu to the Everest range.[6]


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.[7][8] Operations commenced on 11 October 1997 with a sightseeing flight to Mount Everest using a brand new Beechcraft 1900D.[8] Within ten years the company had expanded to a fleet of seven 1900Ds.[9] In 2008 a loan from the International Finance Corporation allowed the company to expand further by purchasing two ATR 42 aircraft.[10] Buddha Air took delivery of its first 70-seat ATR 72-212 in June 2010.[11] The name of the airline is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Buddha', a title used for the much revered Siddhartha Gautama.


Buddha Air also operates flights for the mountain sightseeing.

Buddha Air operates domestic flights to 12 destinations as well as 3 international (2 seasonal and 1 charter).[12][13] The airline also offers air charter flights and daily mountain sightseeing flights.[14] Buddha Air became the first foreign airline to start flights to Paro, Bhutan, in summer 2010, which was the airline's first international destination as well.

Buddha Air flies to the following destinations as of July, 2018.[15]

Country City IATA ICAO Airport Notes Refs
Bhutan Paro PBH VQPR Paro Airport Charter
India Kolkata CCU VECC Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport Begins from mid 2019 [16]
Lucknow LKO VILK Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport Terminated [17]
Varanasi VNS VEBN Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport
Nepal Kathmandu KTM VNKT Tribhuvan International Airport Hub
Nepal Bhadrapur VDP VNCG Bhadrapur Airport
Bhairahawa BWA VNBW Gautam Buddha Airport
Bharatpur BHR VNBP Bharatpur Airport
Biratnagar BIR VNVT Biratnagar Airport
Dhangadhi DHI VNDH Dhangadhi Airport
Janakpur JKR VNJP Janakpur Airport
Nepalgunj KEP VNNG Nepalgunj Airport
Pokhara PKR VNPK Pokhara Airport
Pipara Simara SIF VNSI Simara Airport
Tumlingtar TMI VNTR Tumlingtar Airport
Surkhet SKH VNSK Surkhet Airport [18]


Buddha Air ATR 72-500 in 2012.
Buddha Air ATR 42-300 at Pokhara Airport in 2014.

The Buddha Air fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of July 2018).[19] The airline is planning to add Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft by 2020.[20]

Buddha Air fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
ATR 42-300 3 47 47
ATR 72-500 6[21] 70 70
Beechcraft 1900D 2 18 18
Total 11


Buddha Air is the airlines in Nepal, and a 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 (TIA).

Accidents and Incidents[edit]

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.[22][23]


  • 2000: 3rd World Aviation, Education and Safety Congress -[24] in Appreciation of Participation and Contribution. November, 2000.
  • 2000: Pacific Asia Travel Association, Nepal Chapter – in appreciation of Outstanding Rupee 1 Contribution (1998-1999) from your Grateful Colleagues at -Pacific Asia Travel Association, Nepal Chapter. August 2000
  • 2005: United Nations World Tourism Day - Being First among Private Sector Airlines in Foreign Exchange Earnings during fiscal years: 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2005.
  • 2006: Pacific Asia Travel Association – in appreciation for strong support and valuable contribution to the Pacific Travel Association for the years: 2000, 2002/03, 2004/05, 2006/07.
  • 2006: Government of Nepal, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. “Safety and Security – First and Always the Top Priority”- Awarded for the Highest Safety Record 2006 on the Occasion of International Civil Aviation Day.
  • 2008: Pratt & Whitney, Canada Corporation - In Recognition for the Introduction into Service of Pw100 Engines and Appreciation for your Long Standing Relationship with Pratt & Whitney, Canada and the Exemplary Operational Safety of the Pt6a Engine in Nepal since 1998 on 16 September 2008.
  • 2012: Government of Nepal - Recognized by the government as "Highest Income Tax Payer in Tourism Industry" in the year 2012.
  • 2014: Government of Nepal: Highest Income Tax Payer in Aviation Tourism Sector[25]
  • 2014: IPMA: Project Excellence Award - Bronze Winner in Medium and Big Sized Projects
  • 2016: Frost & Sullivan: Nepal's Best Domestic Airlines Award[26]
  • 2017: Nepal Brand Leadership Award: Organized by CMO Asia on 18 December 2017. #BuddhaAir #FlyWithUs
  • 2017: Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor for Everest Experience Mountain flight.
  • 2018: Frost and Sullivan, Best Practices Award 2018[27]
  • 2018: Nepal Domestic Airlines Company of the Year Award.[28]
  • 2018: Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor for Everest Experience Mountain flight.


Buddha Air is the current shirt sponsor of Biratnagar based football club Morang XI, who currently play in Nepal's highest football league, the Martyr's Memorial A-Division League.


  1. ^ "Company Profile 2018". Buddha Air. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Domestic/International." Buddha Air. Retrieved on 26 September 2011. "The company headquarters is located at Jawalakhel, Lalitpur"
  3. ^ "Contact Information Archived 2011-09-25 at the Wayback Machine.." Buddha Air. Retrieved on September 25, 2011. "Buddha Air Pvt. Ltd Pulchowk Rd Patan"
  4. ^ "My Business: Nepalese airline taking off". BBC. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  5. ^ Flight International 27 March 2007
  6. ^ World Air Routes retrieved 18 November 2006
  7. ^ "Company Profile". Buddha Air. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  8. ^ a b "History". Buddha Air. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Seven Aircrafts [sic]". Buddha Yatra (Buddha Air inflight magazine). Buddha Air. July 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  10. ^ Seth, Minakshi (18 July 2012). "IFC Loan to Buddha Air to Improve Air Travel Connectivity in Nepal" (Press release). Kathmandu, Nepal: International Finance Corporation. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Bigger Aircraft Better Comfort in Nepalese SKY" (Press release). Buddha Air. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Domestic Schedule". Buddha Air. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  13. ^ "International Schedule". Buddha Air. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  14. ^ Nepal Tourism Directory Archived November 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. retrieved 18 November 2006
  15. ^ "Domestic Flights Schedules". Buddha Air. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Buddha Air starting Kolkata flights from September". República. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Buddha Air set to start Lucknow service today". The Kathmandu Post. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Buddha Air to resume Surkhet flights". The Himalayan Times. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Buddha Air Fleet Details and History". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 22. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  21. ^ https://www.aviationnepal.com/buddha-airs-11th-aircraft-atr-72-212a-9n-amu-landed-at-tia/
  22. ^ "Mount Everest Tour Plane Crashes in Nepal." NYCAviation. 25 September 2011
  23. ^ "Nepal tourist plane crashes near Kathmandu killing 19" BBC News. 25 September 2011
  24. ^ "Awards". buddhaair.com. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  25. ^ "Awards". Buddha Air. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  26. ^ "बुध्द एयर उत्कृष्ट वायुसेवा कम्पनीबाट सम्मानित" (in Nepali). Thaha Khabar. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  27. ^ "Frost & Sullivan Nepal". facebook.com. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  28. ^ "बुद्ध एयरलाई उत्कृष्ट घरेलु एयरलायन्स कम्पनी अवार्ड" (in Nepali). Retrieved 2018-04-09.

External links[edit]