Bhutan Airlines or Tashi Air celebrated its fourth anniversary of international flight operations on October 10 this year.
The airlines operated its first commercial flight from Paro to Bangkok on October 10, 2013. Tashi Air started its domestic air service with a Pilatus Pc 12 – eight seater single engine aircraft on December 17, 2011.
Indian DGCA approved Tashi Air to operate scheduled flights through Kolkata India to Bangkok in December 2013. On December 16, 2013 Tashi Air operated its first commercial flight through Kolkata to Bangkok.
Tashi Air ultimately managed to get two A319s from SMBC leasor on dry lease and today operates daily flights from Paro to Bangkok via Kolkata, and five flights a week to Delhi via Kathmandu.
“If today these operations are any way indicative, it has been quite a journey for Bhutan Airlines,” said company Chairman, Wangchuk Dorji.
The present lease of the two Airbus from two leasors namely GLT and Royal Aero will finish by July 2018.
On September 28 Bhutan Airlines signed a four-year aircraft lease with AerCap, a global leader in aircraft leasing and aviation finance for two Airbus 319s. These two airbus 319s both sister ships and 2010 vintage, are expected to replace existing fleet by June and July 2018.
“I am happy to announce that these two A319s aircrafts hopefully, will be equipped with TASHI SKYNET inflight wifi entertainment on Board for all our passengers to enjoy movies, music, games, publication, news, flight path information on mobile devices while on Board,” said the Chairman.
The chief executive officer of Bhutan Airlines, Phala Dorji, also mentioned that Bhutan Airlines has succeeded in supporting national efforts to make Bhutan not only a dream destination for tourism but one that is conveniently accessible.
“Friendly competition between the two airlines and the resultant freedom of choice has no doubt served as a great incentive and attraction for air travel,” he said.
Bhutan Airlines has also supported patients referred outside Bhutan for treatment by giving free air travel.
The General Manager of commercial department under Bhutan Airlines, Ugyen Tenzin, said they have increased Gaya flight frequency to three flights a week from December this year till March 12, 2018, offering attractive fares for senior Bhutanese citizens and Bhutanese pilgrimage groups.
From next year, Bhutan Airlines will be introducing two Paro-Kolkata-Paro (point to point) flights. They will operate two direct flights per week from Paro- Bangkok-Paro.
Bhutan airlines since October 2013 has operated 7,000 flights and flown almost 400,000 passengers till date.
Bhutan Airlines has successfully operated ad hoc charter flights to Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Mumbai.
The airlines is also exploring commercial feasibility to operate schedule flights to Singapore, Yangoon and Dhaka in the future and implement Airline new generation passenger management technology from global IT provider SITA.
Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu