Buddha Air (U4, Kathmandu) has sold its pair of Beech 1900Ds to an undisclosed Canadian buyer after a three-year sales campaign. The airline intends to focus on ATR - Avions de Transport Régional aircraft going forward and says it will purchase a further three ATR72-500s.

The outgoing Beechcraft are 9N-AEE (msn UE286) and 9N-AEW (msn UE328). 9N-AEE was manufactured in 1997, and 9N-AEW in 1998. Speaking to Kathmandu-based media on the weekend, Buddha Air technical director Mangesh Thapa said rising maintenance costs were behind the decision to sell the aircraft but added the planes had been well maintained over the years and remained airworthy. ch-aviation has contacted Canada-based operators of the B1900D to attempt to ascertain the buyer. Current known Canadian B1900D operators include Central Mountain Air, Air Georgian, Pacific Coastal Airlines, and charter, air ambulance, and cargo operator Exploits Valley Air Services (also known as EVAS Air).

Along with Yeti Airlines, Buddha Air is the only ATR - Avions de Transport Régional operator in Nepal. Despite the recent high-profile crash of a Yeti Airlines ATR72-500, Buddha Air says the aircraft remains a good fit for the carrier, and they have a high degree of confidence in the aircraft type. Buddha Air operates three ATR42-300s and eleven ATR72-500s to 13 destinations in Nepal as well as Varanasi in India. While not providing a firm timeline, Thapa said the airline also planned to acquire another three ATR72-500s. ch-aviation fleets ownership data indicates only one ATR72-500 is leased by the carrier, with the remaining 13 aircraft company-owned. Buddha Air is owned and operated by the Bahadur Basnet family, with Surendra Bahadur Basnet serving as chairman and his son Birendra Bahadur Basnet in the managing director's role.