Druk Air - Royal Bhutan Airlines
Druk Air, the National Flag Carrier of the Kingdom of Bhutan, was established by Royal Proclamation on the 5th of April, 1981. The history of Druk Air is synonymous with the history of aviation in Bhutan.
Paro airport was commissioned in 1968 but actual scheduled Civil Air transport started only with the arrival of the Dornier 228 in 1983. The 14th of January 1983, was an important day in the history of Druk Air. It was the day when the first aircraft belonging to the Royal Government of Bhutan touched down at Paro airport, a German made Dornier 228-200.
Operations with Dornier 228 were full of delays and diversions caused by bad weather either over Paro airport or at the entry point to Bhutan in the foothills. Paro airport is located in a deep valley at an elevation of 7333 feet above sea level while the surrounding hills go up to 16000 feet and the approach into airport is entirely by visual flight rules (VFR).
Actual progress in Druk Air started with the introduction of the BAe 146 in November 1988. Within a short span of the introduction of the BAe 146-100, Druk Air route network was increased to link Paro with New Delhi, Bangkok and Kathmandu besides the existing link with Kolkatta and Dhaka. The reliability and the comfort of BAe 146 slowly induced travel by air from Paro as the preferred means of travel for the most people.
Druk Air’s Current Fleet
Number of Aircraft : 3 Airbus A 319 & 1 ATR 42-500
Seats configuration in Airbus A 319 : 102 Economy & 16 Business
Seats configuration in ATR : 48 Economy
Druk Air’s Network
Druk Air operates flight services to 5 countries and 10 international destinations (New Delhi, Kolkatta, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Dhaka, Singapore) operating from Paro International Airport as its hub. Within Bhutan, airline offers domestic services to Bumthang and Trashigang.
For all travel requirements including flight and ground arrangements, please contact our office.
Check in formalities
The suggested reporting time for Druk Air’s flight is 2.1/2 hours prior to flight departure.
Itinerary receipts (tickets) and travel documents must be presented at the time of check-in.
For all travel, it is the ticket holder's responsibility to ensure that all required visas (except Indian, Bangladeshis & Maldives nationals) have been obtained and presented at check-in.
The airlines reserves the right to refuse carriage to a passenger who fails to present the necessary travel documents.
Time shown on the itinerary receipt (tickets) is the departure time of the aircraft and the check-in counters close 45 – 60 minutes (depending upon stations) prior to departure time.
Reconfirmation of Flight
Passengers are advised to reconfirm their flights at least 72 hours before scheduled departure. Re-confirmation is important in case of any changes to your flight. This can be done through agent from which ticket is procured.
The free baggage allowances on Druk Air’s scheduled international flights are as follows:
ECONOMY CLASS : 30 kg (44 pounds)BUSINESS CLASS : 40 kg (68 pounds)
INFANTS: Infants paying only 10% of the applicable air fare are not entitled to any free baggage allowance.Please observe that the weight of your unchecked baggage/cabin baggage is part of you free baggage allowance.
The following Articles may be carried free of charge over and above the Free Baggage Allowance
A lady’s handbag, pocket book or purse, which is appropriate to normal traveling dress and which is not being used as a container to carry articles which would otherwise be regarded as baggage.
An overcoat wrap or blanket
An umbrella or walking stick
A small camera and/or a pair of binoculars
A reasonable amount of reading matter for the flight
Infant’s food for consumption in flight and infant’s carrying basket
An fully collapsible wheelchair and/or crutches or other prosthetic device for the passenger’s use provided the passenger is dependant on them
All other articles - such as flight bags, briefcases, typewriters, ladies vanity cases, large size cameras, etc - can be weighed and, if applicable, excess baggage charges will be levied.** If you have connecting flights and your baggage has to be checked in to final destination, please inform at the check-in counter before checking your luggage. Baggage Check-in is only available, with an agreement airline.
Unchecked Baggage/cabin Baggage Special Regulations
Regulations issued by the Drukair Corporation stipulate that your cabin baggage must be placed under the seat in front of your own. Therefore the overall dimensions are limited to 45 + 35 + 20 cm (17 + 13 +8 inches). The weight must not exceed 5 kg (11 pounds)
These regulations shall ensure that the cabin baggage will not impede evacuation of aircraft cabin in case of emergency.
According to security regulations, airline advises passengers :
Not to accept any baggage/ packet from unknown persons
Not to leave baggage unobserved at anytime especially within airport area. Unattended baggage may be removed by Airport/ Security staff as object of suspicion.
To declare before check-in, if carrying any arms or explosive substance. Concealment is an offence under Aircraft Act and Rules
To remove battery cells/ dry cells from radios, transistor sets, two-in-ones and other such electrical/ electronic items and hand them over to the airline staff before security check or carry them in registered baggage
Druk Air flight timing
Due to the geographical location and operating challenges out of Paro airport in Bhutan which is severely dependent on weather conditions, the schedule timings are subject to change without prior notice. Travelers are therefore, requested to check with airline or agent’s offices for the latest information. Airline reserves the rights without assigning any reason to cancel, reschedule, or overfly or delay the commencement or deviate from the route of the journey. Therefore, all passengers are advised to maintain a sufficient connection time to avoid miss connection.
Documents Required for travel by Air (in case the passenger is a patient)
1. Fit to travel by air certificate signed by a Physician
2. CID of patient and escort if travelling to India and passport if travelling to other countries.
3. Child Health Card or Birth Certificate if the patient is minor and travelling to India and Passport if travelling to other countries.
4. Reservation of 5 seats incase stretcher is required and one day prior information to Druk Air is required.
5. Oxygen cylinder can be provided upon payment of Nu. 1000 (Rs 1000) at the check-in counter.
Wheelchair Assistance To The Plane·
Passengers with walking difficulties should request for wheelchair assistance at the check-in counters.
The charge per kg of excess baggage is equivalent to 1.5% of the highest normal adult one way economy class fare.
Dangerous articles in baggage
For safety reasons, dangerous articles such as those listed below, must not be carried in passenger’s baggage.
Compressed gasses – (deeply refrigerated, flammable, non-flammable and poisonous) such as butane, oxygen, liquid nitrogen, aqualung cylinders
Corrosives such as acids, alkalis, mercury and wet cell batteries
Explosives , munitions, fireworks and flares
Flammable liquids and solids such as lighter fuel, MATCHES, paints, thinners, fire-lighters
Brief-cases and attaché cases with installed alarm devices
Oxidizing materials such as bleaching powder, peroxides
Poisons and infectious substances
such as insecticides, weed-killers and live virus materials
Other dangerous articles such as magnetized material, offensive or irritating materials
Medicines and toiletries in limited quantities which are necessary or appropriate for the passenger during the journey, such as hairsprays, perfumes, and medicines containing alcohol may be carried. Many of these listed articles can be carried as air cargo provided they are packed in accordance with the cargo regulations
In Flight Cuisine
On board, airline serves complimentary veg & non veg meals, both in economy & business class.Airline also offers a wide selection of special meals to cater to different dietary requirements. Special meal request should be made at the time of flight booking or should be intimated 72 hours before flight departure.Customers wishing to try Bhutanese cuisine can also order Bhutanese dish under special meal prior to their flight departure.
Tashi Delek is the inflight magazine of Drukair, Royal Bhutan Airlines, published once in two months.