Overview

Druk Air Corporation which runs Druk Air, the Royal Bhutan Airlines, is based at Paro Airport in Bhutan. Bhutan is an independent Kingdom that is to the north of India, and Druk Air is the only airline flying in and out of this isolated region. The airport is located in a deep valley that is 2,250 meters (7,381 feet) above sea level and totally surrounded by mountains. It has a fleet of two planes. Airline codes for Druk Air are: IATA- KB, ICAO-DRK and Callsign-Royal Bhutan. The airline was started in 1981, though revenue flights started only in 1983. It has announced its intentions to join the International Air Transport Association. Surveys have been made to build a new and bigger international airport for Bhutan.

Where Do They Fly?

Druk Air has a small fleet and uses this to make flights to Bangladesh, India, (Delhi, Kolkatta and Siliguri), Nepal and Thailand. Flights are restricted to daylight times only. As the only airline flying into the country, Druk Air is a lifeline for the country and brings it a lot of tourists. There is very little infrastructure at Paro airport and flights have to carry a full load of fuel from the destinations they travel to. Druk Air has separate mountain flights for viewing the Himalayas. Window seats on these flights are priced above other seats. It has added one more service to Bagdogra in India. Due to difficult flying conditions imposed by the mountainous region in Bhutan, aircraft sizes are small and limited to 72 seats. They are planning to add services to other destinations to cities in India, Hong Kong and the Emirates.

Check-In

Check-in has to be done two to three hours before the scheduled departure. Passengers have to pay a departure tax at Paro airport, which sometimes delays check-in, but is otherwise quite efficient. There is free seating allowed in Business Class, so an early check-in ensures good seats. Window seats on Druk Air are highly priced because the views of the Himalayas while flying in or out are fabulous. No online check-in is possible. Security is extremely tight with hand baggage being searched manually.

Baggage

Druk Air is very strict about the amount of luggage and the baggage size that it permits. The limit is 20kg/44 lbs for Economy and 30 kg/66 lbs for Business Class. Bulky items have to be booked in advance due to limited space availability in the aircraft in use. Luggage exceeding the limits is sometimes listed as standby, and may catch the next flight if excess baggage fees have been paid. Most tourists are advised to carry soft bags to reduce the weight, as Druk Air is very strict about weight. It is best to see that the weight you carry in is less than that allowable.

Traveling Infants

Children below the age of two years are classified as infants and are charged ten percent of the adult fare. However this does not entitle them to a separate seat, and they have to be carried on the lap of the accompanying adult. There is no baggage allowance for infants, and accompanying adults have to adjust their own luggage allowance accordingly.

Minors

Children up to 12 years of age and above two years of age are given a discount of 33 percent on adult fares. Druk Air has no special package for unaccompanied minors. Students can also take advantage of a 25 percent discount if they are below 25 years of age and carry all the necessary documentation with them.

Pets

Due to the severe weight restrictions in force for Druk Air flights, they do not accept pets on board their flights.

Frequent Flyer Program

Druk Air does not have any frequent flyer program.

In Flight Services

Druk Air has both Economy and Business Classes of travel. Meals are only served for passengers on long routes depending on the time the flight. Refreshments and drinks are available on all aircraft. On one-hour flights, snacks are served. There is no other entertainment provided in the Economy Class. Seats on the Business Class are limited to ten.

Airlines Magazine

The in-flight magazine is called Tashi Elek and features articles on Bhutan and items of interest for the tourist.

Airlines Alliances

Druk Air has no alliances with any other airline.

Contact Information

Druk Air has a website at www.drukair.com cURL Error: