As of June 2011, Drukair is the only airline that serves Paro internationally. So all visitors to Bhutan are initiated into the kingdom in her care.
The flight into Paro is one of the most spectacular in the world. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Calcutta or Dhaka, each flight is a mesmerising aeronautical feat and offers an exciting descent into the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Airbus delivered both A319 to Drukair in December 2004. Both Airbus A319 start operation in January 2005 allowing Drukair to fly to Bangkok on a daily basis.
Both Airbus A319 has a 114 seats configuration with 20 business class seats and 94 economy seats.
In September 2012, Drukair also leased a third Airbus A319 to better handle the increasing traffic and allow Drukair to serve more flights on the Bangkok-Paro route and open up the Singapore-Kolkata-Paro route.
Read about the seating configuration for third Airbus A319 here.
Manufacturer: Airbus, an EADS Company
Airbus A319 official website
The ATR 42-500 begin operation with Drukair in June 2011. It will fly to the nearby cities of Kolkata, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Gaya and Bagdogra.
It is a 48 economy seat but can be also converted into 8 VIP seat and 22 economy seat, available for charter.
Manufacturer: Aerei da Trasporto Regionale
ATR 42-500 official website
Paro is the only airport in Bhutan which is located in a deep valley at an elevation of 7300 ft above sea level. The surrounding hills are high as 16,000 ft and approach into Paro airport is entirely by visual flight rules. Due to the difficult operating conditions, operations with the Dornier 228 caused many delays and diversions. With the growth of traffic and the expansion of flights, the need for a larger aircraft became necessary. After conducting numerous tests taking into account the difficult operating conditions the British Aerospace BAe 146-100 was selected and started operations in November 1988. Within a short span of its introduction the network of Drukair increased to link Paro with New-Delhi, Bangkok and Kathmandu. From two destinations in 1983 today Drukair operates from Paro seven times a week to Bangkok where five flights goes via Kolkata and two flights through Gaya (flights via Dhaka and Yangon are currently suspended), thrice to Kathmandu and Delhi.
From September 2012, Drukair also flies twice weekly to and from Singapore. Singapore became the fifth country to be served by Drukair. This will provide better connectivity to many travellers to Bhutan from all over the world.
Further, owing to much increase in the commercial demand, Drukair and the Royal Government of Bhutan considered it necessary to upgrade the Drukair fleet with newer generation commercial aircraft with increased capacity and performance abilities. The management thus, met up with compatible manufactures that could serve Paro airport and finally brought it down to two manufactures, Boeing and Airbus. After both having done demonstration flights at Paro International Airport, decision was finally made to purchase two Airbus A319. With the purchase contract agreement signed and payments finally made, Drukair purchased and Airbus delivered two A319 in the largest transaction the country had ever taken.
The final delivery of the A319 was made on December 3, 2004 and as of now, both the Airbus are operational.
Drukair is the only airline that serves Paro. So all visitors to Bhutan are initiated into the kingdom in its care. The flight into Paro is one of the most spectacular in the world. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Calcutta or Dhaka, each flight is mesmerising aeronautical feat and offers an exciting descent into the kingdom.
For Bhutan a landlocked country the importance of aviation is paramount to the development of the country in enhancing the economic well being of the people as well as fostering quicker communications in the fastest growing region. Drukair is committed to bringing the world closer to the Land of the Thunder Dragon.