The newly added ATR 72-500 belonging to Buddha Air with registration “9N-AMF” which arrived on its base Tribhuvan Intl Airport, Kathmandu on January 25, 2018 has commenced its commercial operations from March 2, Friday.
The airliner purchased the aircraft from Air Calédonie 2 months ago. With the new addition, Buddha Air now features 5 ATR 72-500s aircraft in its fleet.
As per the officials from the company, the new aircraft will make flights to Bhadrapur, Biratnagar, Janakpur, Pokhara, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj and Dhangadhi. In recent years, the airline has been replacing its Beechcraft with ATRs.
The company intends for investing Rs 4 billion for the purchase 4 ATR 72-500 series aircraft in the next two years. Mr. Rupesh Joshi, Marketing Director of Buddha Air, acknowledged that, “The first ATR out of 4 will arrive by June/July of this year and the other aircraft may take considerable time for arrival.”
The airline has mapped out its international growth plans which will focus on tapping into the high-end tourism market. The airline has set its sights on lucrative Asian destinations like Guangzhou, Bangkok, Dhaka and most major Indian cities in the first phase. It has planned to connect Japan, South Korea, China and Europe in the second phase.
The carrier will to resume international flights in September this year with service from Kathmandu to Kolkata Int’l in India using ATR72-500 aircraft. It is also studying the acquisition of two narrow body jets, either A320 Family jets or B737 MAX 8s, for use in expanding its foreign coverage from 2020 onward.