Buddha Air, a leading private carrier of the Nepal is ready to expand its international flight operation to other various cities of India. The airline will be operating flights to Calcutta from upcoming Nepali New Year.
The airlines held a press meeting at Hotel Himalaya in the presence of Managing Director of the airlines Mr. Birendra Bahadur Basnet, CEO of Buddha Holidays Ms. Astha Basnet and Mr. Rupesh Joshi, Director of sales and marketing to circulate the notice today.
The airline stated to focus primarily on the tourist market as most of the passengers in Nepal are for labor work and most established international flight operators are already providing service to them rather than tourism sector.
The airline stated that promoting tourism of the country is primarily done by domestic carriers so the airlines will be operating in the sector.
Buddha Air will be operating 3 weekly flight on Kathmandu-Calcutta-Kathmandu sector on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2076 Baisakh 2 (mid-April). The airline will be operating flights initially from their current aircraft ATR-72.
The airline will have 6 weekly flights to Calcutta out of 800 total weekly flight of the airline. The total duration of the flight will be around 1 hour and 40 minutes and the airline has asked for morning time for the flights to Indian authority. The response is expected to come in 15-20 days.
The airline stated to operate initially from ATR aircraft as test flight as they have large number of human resource to maintain the aircraft which will help to minimize the cost and expenses.
After successful flights to Calcutta, the airline will be operating flights to various South Asian major cities after around 1 and half year after initiating flight to Calcutta jet powered aircraft. The airline stated they have been reviewing Boeing as well as Airbus and will be choosing one accordingly.
Buddha air also notified that after the operation of Pokhara International Airport from 2078 (2021 AD), they will shift their base to the airport for international flight and will be commencing flights from there.
The airline has been focusing on Indian tourist and basically Bengali tourist from Calcutta as they are mostly travel enthusiast and in 2017 more than 20 million Indian tourist visited foreign country about of which only 160 thousand of them visited to Nepal. The airline has already established their office at India as well which will help them to get their market easily.
The airline have also made preparation for a new company ‘Buddha Air International’ and the international company will go into IPO (initial Public Offering) after the arrival of Jet powered aircraft.
Buddha Air said that they are not competing with India’s state-owned carrier Air India which is operating four flights a week on the route as passengers of Air India are mostly corporate, labor and business traveler.
Buddha Air also has already got permission to fly to international destination which takes around 2 and half hours with the ‘turboprop’ planes from Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and also has permission from India to fly to Kolkata.
The airline currently owns 11 aircraft that includes 2 Beechcraft B1900D, 3 ATR 42-320 and 6 ATR 72-500 series aircraft. The airline will be adding 2 more ATR 72 series aircraft to extend their flight operation to different cities of India.
The airlines is providing services to Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa, Bharatpur, Simara, Janakpur, Biratnagar, Bhadrapur, Pokhara, Dhangadi and Tumlingtar from TIA along with Mountain Flights as well as flights to Indian city Varanasi. Buddha Air recently celebrated its completion of 21 years of service in Nepali Aviation Market with ATR company officials.