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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.[3] Its main base is Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.[4] It also operates mountain flights from Kathmandu to the Everest range.[5]

Buddha Air Pvt. Ltd
Buddha Air logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 23 April 1996; 21 years ago (1996-04-23)
Commenced operations 11 October 1997; 20 years ago (1997-10-11)
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Royal Club
Fleet size 10
Destinations 12
Company slogan Fly with us
Headquarters Jawalakhel, Nepal
Key people Surendra Bahadur Basnet (Company Chairman)
Birendra Bahadur Basnet (Managing Director)



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 72-212 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.


Buddha Air also operates flights for the mountain sightseeing.

Buddha Air operates flights to thirteen destinations including two international (1 seasonal, 1 charter) and 11 domestic airports.[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. As of August 2017, Buddha Air operates flights to these destinations:



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 February 2018). [15] The airline is planning to add Boeing 737 Max 8 by 2020 :[16]

Buddha Air fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
ATR 42-300 3 47 47
ATR 72-500 5 4[17] 70 70
Beechcraft 1900D 2 18 18
Total 10 4

Accidents and IncidentsEdit

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.[18][19]


  • 2000: 3rd World Aviation, Education and Safety Congress -[20] 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 16th 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[21]
  • 2014: IPMA: Project Excellence Award - Bronze Winner in Medium and Big Sized Projects
  • 2016: Frost & Sullivan: Nepal's Best Domestic Airlines Award[22]
  • 2017: Nepal Brand Leadership Award: Organized by CMO Asia on 18 December 2017. #BuddhaAir #FlyWithUs


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. ^ "Domestic/International." Buddha Air. Retrieved on 26 September 2011. "The company headquarters is located at Jawalakhel, Lalitpur"
  2. ^ "Contact Information Archived 2011-09-25 at the Wayback Machine.." 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. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. 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. ^ "International flight fare - Varanasi to Kathmandu flights". Retrieved 2018-02-20. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 22. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Mount Everest Tour Plane Crashes in Nepal." NYCAviation. 25 September 2011
  19. ^ "Nepal tourist plane crashes near Kathmandu killing 19" BBC News. 25 September 2011
  20. ^ "". Retrieved 2018-02-20.  External link in |title= (help)
  21. ^ "Awards". Buddha Air. Retrieved October 5, 2017. 
  22. ^ "बुध्द एयर उत्कृष्ट वायुसेवा कम्पनीबाट सम्मानित" (in Nepali). Thaha Khabar. Retrieved October 5, 2017. 

External linksEdit