Buddha Air (U4, Kathmandu) will make a decision on its preferred narrowbody purchase only once it has successfully restarted international operations, due in September this year.

Airline managing director Birendra Bahadur Basnet told the Kathmandu Post the carrier was currently looking at the A319-100 from Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) and the B737-8 from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) following pitches from either manufacturer.

“We will resume international flights with a flight to Kolkata Int'l, India, from September 1 with our 72-seater ATR72-500 series aircraft. Soon after the Kolkata flight, we will decide whether to purchase Boeing or Airbus aircraft,” he said.

Once ordered, the aircraft would be used to run foreign services from Kathmandu from 2020 and from Pokhara Regional International Airport from 2021, he said.

Buddha Air currently operates five ATR72-500s, three ATR42-320s, and two Beech 1900Ds on scheduled flights to 11 destinations around Nepal.