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Drukair

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Drukair is a Royal Government of Bhutan Owned Airline run by the Investment Wing, Druk Holding & Investments Ltd. The national Airline of the Kingdom of Bhutan operates a scheduled network within the South Asian region from its Head Quarter at Paro, a picturesque Valley in Western Bhutan. The Capital, Thimphu is 60 Minutes' drive away.

Bhutan, the last Mahayana Buddhist kingdom and also the most exclusive and sought-after travel destinations, opened its door to the outside world only four decades ago. A unique policy of high value, low impact tourism upheld the nation's vision of keeping its pristine environment, centuries old tradition and culture intact and alive.

In the ensuing decades, as more and more people grew intrigued with this tiny kingdom that put Gross National Happiness over Gross Domestic Product and embraced democracy as a gift from the monarchy itself, there was increasing pressure to open the doors wide. This posed a serious dilemma as the country was landlocked, straddling the eastern Himalayas.

There was the need to open up the skies. And so, the concept of a national airline was born on April 5, 1981. Drukair began operations on February 11, 1983, from Paro, a picturesque valley in western Bhutan, a 65 km drive away from the capital, Thimphu. At the time, Paro had a little airstrip servicing helicopter operations. Drukair began humbly with a 18-seat Dornier 228-200 that made its historic touch down at Paro airport on January 14, 1983, to the chant of inauguration prayers, cymbals, conches and the like, with maroon-clad monks blessing the occasion and the plane. The first link was Kolkata, followed by six destinations in South Asia, including Bangkok. As more and more people took to the skies, not just to connect but also to enjoy perhaps the most breath-taking view of the Himalayan range, including Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga and the highest unclimbed mountains in Bhutan itself, another Dornier was added to meet the increasing demand.

Drukair upgraded its planes to the new BAe 146 on November 21, 1988, when the first plane touched down at Paro with the same traditional fanfare. Drukair now operates with 3 A319 and 1 A320Neo for its international destinations and on an ATR 42-600 for its regional destinations.

Drukair received the new Airbus A320neo on March 19th 2020, registered as A5-JKW on 21st Feb, 2020 commemorating the 40th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the King.

All the pilots and maintenance crew are trained at the best institutes abroad while the flight attendants are trained by Thai Airways.

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