Boeing officials in Kathmandu to woo Buddha Air

Published On: February 5, 2018 07:21 AM NPT By: Susheel Bhattarai  | @sushbhattarai

KATHMANDU, Feb 5: Officials of aircraft maker The Boeing Company arrived in Nepal on Sunday to hold discussions with Buddha Air which has unveiled plan to expand its wings in the international skies.

The team comprising of Suvendoo Ray, senior director of International Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and David M Schulte, regional marketing director of Asia Pacific & India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes,  will hold discussion with Buddha Air officials on Monday.

“They will be here for two days -- Sunday and Monday,” Birendra Bahadur Basnet, managing director of Buddha Air, said adding that the team has suggested them that Boeing B737 Max 8 series aircraft will be suitable for Nepal. 

Buddha Air has already held discussion with Airbus SE. Officials of the European aircraft manufacturer suggested the Nepali private carrier that Airbus A319 aircraft will be the best option for it, according to Basnet.

“We will resume international flights with a flight to Kolkata, India, from September 1 with our 72-seater ATR 72-500 series aircraft. “Soon after the Kolkata flight, we will decide whether to purchase Boeing or Airbus aircraft,” Basnet said, adding: “We will start our international flight from 2020 from Kathmandu and from August, 2021 from Pokhara Regional International Airport.” 

According to officials of Buddha Air, the company will assess management expenses, features, fuel consumption and other technical parts of both Airbus A319 and Boeing 737 Max 8 series aircraft before it makes the choice. Since its establishment, Buddha Air has carried 10 million passengers including both domestic and foreigners to their destinations. It has been carrying more than one million passengers annually.       

The airline company is operating with a fleet of five 72-seater ATR 72-500 aircraft, three ATR 42-320 and two Beechcraft 1900 D series aircraft. With these aircraft, it has been operating around three dozens of domestic flights to Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa, Bharatpur, Simara, Janakpur, Biratnagar, Bhadrapur, Pokhara, Dhangadhi and Tumlingtar every day.

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