KATHMANDU, Jan 28: Nepal’s major private airlines Buddha Air has announced plan to add four 72-seater ATR 72-500 series aircrafts to its fleet, with an investment of Rs four billion. The new planes will be used for flights to different cities of India. The company currently has 10 aircrafts.
“We are working aggressively to increase our market share. That’s why we are making an additional investment of Rs four billion,” Birendra Bahadur Basnet, managing director of Buddha Air told Republica.
The company is planning to operate flights to Kolkata, Dehradun, Varanasi, and Gangtok of India. The airline will submit an application to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) on Sunday for permission to add aircrafts.
According to the company, a brand new ATR 72-series aircraft costs around Rs 2.25 billion, that is why the company is purchasing second hand aircrafts at the rate of Rs one billion. As per the aviation policy of the country, no company can purchase aircraft that is older than 15 years.
With an employee base of 850, Buddha Air occupies 63 percent market share of domestic flights. The company is currently operating flights from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa, Bharatpur, Simara, Janakpur, Biratnagar, Bhadrapur, Pokhara, Dhangadhi, and Tumlingtar. It is also operating mountain flights from Kathmandu and Pokhara airports.