Druk Air-Royal Bhutan Airlines (Paro) operates regularly scheduled flights into its mountainous home country of Bhutan. The unique report by the BBC shows the approach into Paro Airport while the captain explains the unique approach. This approach is not for the faint of heart.
BBC Video: The Travel Show: Carmen Roberts reports from the cockpit as a pilot guides his plane into what has been known as one of the world’s most dangerous airports: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Drukair). Drukair operates three Airbus A319s and a ATR 42-500 into and out of Paro Airport.
Photo Below: Drukair. The ATR 42-500 began operations with Drukair in June 2011. It flies to the nearby cities of Kolkata, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Gaya and Bagdogra. The ATR is a 48 seater, all economy, but can also be converted into 8 VIP seater and a 22 economy seat configuration, available for charter and mountain flights.
Drukair-Royal Bhutan Airlines (Paro) has signed a firm order for an Airbus A319 aircraft equipped with Sharklet fuel saving wing tip devices to complement its existing fleet of two A319s. The order announced at the UK’s Farnborough International Airshow, follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in February.
Landlocked and surrounded by a wall of the world’s tallest mountains, Bhutan is one of the world’s most pristine locations and one of the world’s most challenging destinations for air services. At over 7,000 feet above sea level, Drukair’s base at Paro airport is only possible using Visual Flight Rules (VFR) for approach. This means the crew can only fly by vision, which requires a high performance and responsive aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen. Drukair currently operates two Airbus A319s.
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.