Buddha Air

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Buddha Air Pvt. Ltd
Buddha Air logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1997
Hubs Tribhuvan International Airport
Frequent-flyer program Royal Club
Fleet size 9
Destinations 12
Headquarters Jawalakhel, Nepal
Key people Surendra Bahadur Basnet (Company Chairman)
Birendra B. Basnet (Managing Director)
Website www.buddhaair.com

Buddha Air Pvt. Ltd is an airline based in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur District, Nepal, near Patan.[1][2] 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 in 1997 it has become the largest single domestic air operator in Nepal.[3] Its main base is Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.[4] It also operates mountain flights from Kathmandu to the Everest range.[5]


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.[6][7] Operations commenced on 11 October 1997 with a sightseeing flight to Mount Everest using a brand new Beechcraft 1900D.[7] Within ten years the company had expanded to a fleet of seven 1900Ds.[8] In 2008 a loan from the International Finance Corporation allowed the company to expand further by purchasing two ATR 42 aircraft.[9] Buddha Air took delivery of its first 70-seat ATR 72 in June 2010.[10] The name of the airline is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Buddha', a title used for the much revered Siddharta Gautama.


As of April 2014, Buddha Air offers flights to the following domestic and international destinations:[11][12]

The airline also offers air charter flights and daily mountain sightseeing flights.[13] Buddha Air became the first foreign airline to start flights to Paro, Bhutan, in summer 2010, which was the airline's first international destination. Buddha Air is said to be Nepal's safest and most reliable air carrier[citation needed], with only one incident in its history. Buddha Air receives their aircraft direct from manufactures.[citation needed] Engineers are highly trained, as are pilots, who are tested in simulators yearly in world leading institutes.[citation needed]


ATR 72-500 of Buddha Air, predelivery at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (August 2012)

The Buddha Air fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of August 2016):[14]

Buddha Air fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
ATR 42-320 3 0 0 47 47
ATR 72-500 4 1 0 70 70
Beechcraft 1900D 2 0 0 18 18
Total 9 1


2016 : Frost & Sullivan Nepal Best Domestic Airlines Award


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.[15][16]


  1. ^ "Domestic/International." Buddha Air. Retrieved on 26 September 2011. "The company headquarters is located at Jawalakhel, Lalitpur"
  2. ^ "Contact Information." Buddha Air. Retrieved on September 25, 2011. "Buddha Air Pvt. Ltd Pulchowk Rd Patan"
  3. ^ "My Business: Nepalese airline taking off". BBC. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Flight International 27 March 2007
  5. ^ World Air Routes retrieved 18 November 2006
  6. ^ "Company Profile". Buddha Air. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "History". Buddha Air. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Seven Aircrafts [sic]". Buddha Yatra (Buddha Air inflight magazine). Buddha Air. July 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Bigger Aircraft Better Comfort in Nepalese SKY" (Press release). Buddha Air. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "Domestic Schedule". Buddha Air. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "International Schedule". Buddha Air. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  13. ^ Nepal Tourism Directory Archived November 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. retrieved 18 November 2006
  14. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2016 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2016): 22. 
  15. ^ "Mount Everest Tour Plane Crashes in Nepal." NYCAviation. 25 September 2011
  16. ^ "Nepal tourist plane crashes near Kathmandu killing 19" BBC News. 25 September 2011

External links[edit]