Drukair signs a MOU for an Airbus A319 with Sharklets

Drukair (Paro), the flag carrier of landlocked Eastern Himalayan mountain Kingdom of Bhutan, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for an Airbus A319-100 aircraft fitted with Sharklets to complement its existing fleet of two A319s.

Paro is the only airport in Bhutan which is located in a deep valley at an elevation of 7300 ft above sea level. The surrounding hills are high as 16,000 ft and approach into Paro airport is entirely by visual flight rules. Due to the difficult operating conditions, operations with the Dornier 228 caused many delays and diversions. With the growth of traffic and the expansion of flights, the need for a larger aircraft became necessary. After conducting numerous tests taking into account the difficult operating conditions the British Aerospace BAe 146-100 was selected and started operations in November 1988. Within a short span of its introduction the network of Drukair increased to link Paro with New-Delhi, Bangkok and Kathmandu. From two destinations in 1983 today Drukair operates from Paro seven times a week to Bangkok where five flights operate via Kolkata and two flights through Gaya (flights via Dhaka and Yangon are currently suspended), three times a week to Kathmandu and Delhi.

Drukair purchased and Airbus delivered two A319 in the largest transaction the country has ever taken. The final delivery of the A319 was made on December 3, 2004 and as of now, both the Airbus are operational.

Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen.

Bottom Image: Airbus.

The country of Bhutan: