On the Wings of the Dragon.
Bhutan, also known as Druk Yul – The Land of Thunder Dragon is a Buddhist kingdom and one of the most exclusive and sought-after travel destinations. This tiny kingdom opened its doors to the outside world only four decades ago. Bhutan strongly adheres to a unique ‘high value, low impact’ tourism policy to preserve its pristine environment and centuries old traditions and cultures. A country that is well known for its philosophy and focus on Gross National Happiness over Gross Domestic Product, travellers often find themselves enchanted by the kingdom’s breathtaking landscapes, spirituality and hospitality.
The concept of a national airline, Drukair was born on April 5, 1981 as the kingdom opens up to the world. Drukair began operations on February 11, 1983, from Paro, a picturesque valley in western Bhutan, a 65km drive away from the capital, Thimphu. At that time, Paro only had a little airstrip servicing helicopter operations. Drukair began humbly with an 18-seat Dornier 228-200 that made its historic inaugural touch down at Paro Airport on January 14, 1983 alongside the blessings of monks with chant of prayers, cymbals and conches.
The first Drukair route was from Paro to Kolkata, followed by six other destinations in South Asia and Southeast Asia, including Bangkok and Singapore.
With an increase in travellers who enjoy the breathtaking views of the Himalayan range, including Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga and Gangkhar Puensum, the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, another Dornier was added to meet the increasing demand.
Fast forward almost four decades later, Drukair currently has three Airbus A319 and one ATR 42-600 in operation and a new Airbus 320neo will be arriving on March 19, 2020.
For Bhutan, a landlocked country, the importance of aviation is paramount to the development of the country. Drukair’s presence helps to enhance the country’s economic as well fostering quicker communications in the fastest growing region. Drukair is committed to bringing the world closer to the Land of Thunder Dragon.