(The airline Air Calédonie announced that its former ATR 72-500 left its fleet to join that of Buddha Air in Nepal.)
The aircraft registered F-OIPS will take off soon, from Nouméa-Magenta airport to join its new base in Nepal. Air Calédonie had received the aircraft 10.2 years ago, in October 2007. Its capacity is 66 seats in single class and is powered with a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100/150 Engines.
This is the third aircraft Buddha Air is buying from New Caledonia Company as it procured one ATR 72-500 registered as F-OIPN (9N-AMD) in February last year and ATR 42-310 registered as F-OIAM (9N-AIN) 10 years ago.
Officials from Buddha Air departed to take the delivery of an additional ATR-72 aircraft on January 9. Teams including 2 flight crews, 1 operational staff, 2 B1/B2 Licensed Engineer, 1 Quality Assurance Staff, 1 Airworthiness Staff and one official from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) are in the team for receiving the aircraft.
The F-OIPS is the third ATR to leave the fleet of Air Caledonia in a few days to join its new family of Buddha Air base in Nepal at Tribhuvan International Airport. The F-OIPS had served its service between the great land and the islands of about 14000 hours of flight, 25000 flights, transported around 1.2 million passengers. The aircraft has also been allocated with Nepalese registration ‘9N-AMF’ to carry its ferry flight.
The aircraft is schedule to fly back along with the officials and team members will be back to Kathmandu via different routes starting from France to Australia and finally back to its base from Pattaya within 25/26 of January. The added aircraft will come into operation after 3 months after its arrival and will be used to enhance its operational capacity and will be operating in currently scheduled places.
Created in 1954 by a group of civil aviation enthusiasts, Air Calédonie serves 9 destinations from Magenta airport: the Loyalty Islands (Maré, Lifou, Ouvéa and Tiga), the Isle of Pines, the North Province ( Koné, Touho, Koumac and Bélep Today, it carries 440,000 passengers and 1,900 tons of freight a year, and has 368 employees.
As for Buddha Air, Established on 1997 the company operates two Beechcraft 1900Ds, three ATR 42s and four ATR 72s, according to its officials. Knowing that all airlines in Nepal remain on the blacklist of the European Union (due in particular to the lack of supervision of the authorities of the country), Buddha Air says it has made “no compromise “on security in sixteen years of operations. Based at Kathmandu-Tribhuvan airport, it serves a dozen domestic destinations in Nepal.