Bhutan

Bhutan Airlines Announces Direct Flights to Sharjah

Bhutan Airlines, the nation’s premier private airline, has unveiled its ambitious plan to commence direct flight operations between Paro International Airport and Sharjah, UAE, starting January 2024.

This significant announcement was made during the airline’s 10th-anniversary celebration at Pemako Hotel, Thimphu, attended by esteemed dignitaries, international agents, and supporters.

This new route establishes the first direct airline link between Bhutan and the Gulf region since the pandemic. The airline intends to operate a bi-weekly service from Paro to Sharjah, incorporating a stopover in Dhaka. This strategic move is designed to facilitate easier travel for western travelers, particularly those from or transiting through the GCC region, offering them a more streamlined journey to Bhutan.

In addition to the new route, Bhutan Airlines announced its collaboration with World Ticket (W2), a GDS sub-hosting service. This partnership aims to enhance the airline’s global distribution and ticketing capabilities, making its flights available through numerous GDS channels and OTAs, and granting access to 180 BSP markets via W2.

Pema Nadik, CEO of Bhutan Airlines, also revealed the bilateral interline ticketing agreement inked with Thai Airways in June 2023. This integration allows both airlines to issue tickets for each other’s routes, paving the way for the upcoming Inter Airline Through Check-in (IATCI) with Thai Airways. This initiative promises to simplify the travel experience for passengers flying to and from Bhutan.

Further solidifying its commitment to Bhutan’s sports community, Bhutan Airlines announced its official carrier partnership with the Bhutan Olympic Committee. This collaboration underscores the airline’s dedication to supporting Bhutanese athletes on the global stage.

Since its inception in 2013, Bhutan Airlines has witnessed remarkable growth. Starting with domestic flights using an 8-seater Pilatus aircraft, the airline soon expanded to international destinations, incorporating the advanced Airbus 320 fleet. The CEO proudly stated that between 2017 and 2019, the airline transported nearly 400,000 passengers.

The airline’s pioneering efforts also extended to introducing charter flights to the untapped Vietnamese market, boosting tourism numbers.

Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, Bhutan Airlines played a pivotal role in repatriation efforts and transporting essential medical supplies, working alongside the national carrier, Drukair.

Addressing past flight cancellations post-COVID, CEO Pema Nadik assured, “Those days of uncertainty are behind us. We remain committed to delivering safe and dependable service.”

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