Druk Air’s new route

high flying dragon

high flying dragon

A few times in past, incoming Druk Air flights have been diverted to Bagdogra due to unfavourable weather conditions over Paro. Such diversions are generally unwelcome by passengers and crew alike as they are required to spend hours in Bagdora waiting for the weather to improve in Paro.

Yesterday’s flight from Paro to Bagdogra was different. It was scheduled. And it was welcome. Bhutanese living in Phuentsoling and Samtse, and those who have work in Siliguri or Darjeeling will find Druk Air’s latest service to Bagdogra very useful. And as the only air service allowed to use Bagdogra as an international airport, Druk Air’s flights to and from Bagdogra will prove very beneficial to Indians living in the northern part of West Bengal and Sikkim.

Yeshey Dorji’s photograph of Druk Air flying above the Paro Dzong is featured in the photo banner to celebrate Druk Air’s success. Well done, Druk Air. And thank you, Yeshey.


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  1. A long awaited initiative by Druk Air finally turns into a reality. Hopefully, Druk Air along with the initiatives of Tour Operators and Hoteliers will capitalize on this as an opportunity to increase Indian tourists visiting Bhutan. I would also like to commend the Druk Air Management accordingly. Hail to Chariman, Board & the management & the staff of Druk Air.

  2. Honourable OL,
    I am sorry to deviate from the main topic but I think it is very important for more than 10000 odd employees in various corporations in the country. So, we would like to hear honourable OL’s view on recent pay revision proposal by the government for corporations. We feel it is grossly unfair because of the following:
    1. We work on Saturdays (extra hours) and other odd hours to deliver services to the customer/general public.
    2. We don’t get other benefits like vehicle quota, white passport etc etc like our counterparts in the government.
    3. When we join the corporation, it was attractive and it was perhaps reasonable but why changes now??
    4. As of bonus, we get based on our achievements and on fulfilling the target set and approved by the board.some years we even don’t get bonus.
    5. Most of the corporations are social service oriented entities and it would be difficult to meet the required revenue unless we increase the charges which will directly affect the general public.
    So, we would be very grateful to OL, if you could throw some of your views on this issue. In my view, we should be given atleast at par with the civil servants.

  3. This an initiative that was long over due, this is not the Druk air lapses but the tourism industry’s cataract covered vision.

    there has been umpteen reports and recommendations to develop the Bagdora sector for Druk air’s long haul destinations.

    the Druk air will use bagdora as a hub ( base ) for the big planes and use small planes to shuttle from Bagdora to Paro.

    most of the studies attribute the bottle neck for tourism as access, this can be solved with a little innovation and dynamic leadership.

    the govt with its lip service to the tourism industry, the most common one ” engine of growth and potential generator of employment” still has its head up its buttock.

    one example is the budget allocated for the TCB is pathetic, they run out of fuel for the veh half way thru the year.

    marketing ?

    we hope that you will be able to make some noise and wake up the sleeping govt.

    good luck

    • I agree with Tobgay about the lip service to tourism from the government. There is much talk about one stop shop service and also cutting down paper work and shortening the beaurocracy for processes to conduct business. Well, the recent change of Immigration requiring the tour operators to produce passport copies to apply for visas is certainly going backwards by the so called forward thinking director of immigration. Imagine the amount of paper work and the hassle for people processing the papers. The immigration officials should be in our shoes and experince the hassle. As pointed out by some senior operators, the system of visa application has worked for last 20 years with ease and hwy change the system now and to make it more difficult instead of making it easier.

      THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD LOOK INTO THIS MATTER SERIOUSLY and we know the PM will but will his orders be effective down to the departmental level…Don’t know…

      • Bhutan ranked as one of the most difficult areas in the world for doing business

        June 17: Bhutan is one of the most difficult areas in the world for doing business according to a recent study by the World Bank. The report ranks Bhutan at 124th from around 181 countries.

        The survey was carried out based on procedures for starting business, getting financial loans, paying taxes and cross-border trade.

        Today, the World Bank in collaboration with the Bhutan Chamber for Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Economic Affairs conducted a workshop on investment climate assessment.

        The programme was meant to study the main constraints faced by the private sector in the country.

        During the workshop, most participants from the private sector said it is time consuming and tedious to complete procedures to run or set up businesses in the country.

        They also said it is time consuming processing loans and there are contradictory rules and regulations made by various ministries and agencies.

        The Economic Affairs Minister Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk said the government is working towards creating an enabling environment for private sector development.

        The Country Director of the World Bank Nicholas Kraft said the investment climate assessment workshop will study constraints faced by the private sector in Bhutan.

        The World Bank and Investment Climate Assessment team will come up with the final report on the assessment by early 2010.

  4. waterland says

    And congratulations also goes to the Department of Civil Aviation who does all the ground work right from aviation industry to security, management and maintenance of Paro International airport.

    Tashi Delek to all.

  5. Dinesh Pradhan says

    It’s heartening to see Drukair opening up new routes and new sectors, and I join OL in congratulating them.
    What would be a really good idea (I think, but I’m not sure) would be look for a possibility to open up the Chennai sector probably routed through Kolkata. Here are some reasons why:

    1. Many Bhutanese patients referred to CMC, Vellore are made to travel by train, which is an arduous 2 day, 2 night journey, or made to book connecting flights from Kolkata to Chennai through travel agents, and when done on a last-minute basis costs a lot.

    2. More Bhutanese are studying in South India than ever before, namely in cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Pondicherry (that’s where I am), Coimbatore etc. and also smaller towns like like Salem, Dindigul etc. It would be a big help to us students when we come home for vacations as well as during emergencies.

    3. Tourism from South India will be boosted. We also have a lot of South Indians working in Bhutan who will avail this service.

    4. Students studying in Sri Lanka can also take this flight and then get a connecting flight from Chennai to Colombo. Ministry of Health officials and Doctors who get sent to Sri Lanka very often can also take this flight, which indirectly saves the government a lot of money. They are usually sent via Bangkok presently, which costs way more than what it would cost via Chennai.

    I might not be the only one who’s saying it or who has said it so far. Maybe Drukair has already studied this route and worked out the feasibility. But when they can open up to a small airport like Bagdogra and come out with a profit margin still, I think Chennai should be reconsidered. I leave it up to OL to maybe raise this in the National Assembly or ask Drukair to look for a possibility here.

  6. i have worked in south bhutan for TALA power projects. Royal Governmebt of Bhutan , in my view should request Government of India for use of HASIMARA airstrip just other side of Phuentsoling and Samtse for Bhutan druk air. having excellent relation between both country , it should not be difficult to materialize . it shall be of great help to all Bhutanese living in south of country. for one or two flight not much infrastructure is needed

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