Drukair to Resume Flights to Yonphula & Gelephu on 11 November 2017
The two domestic airports Gelephu and Yongphula, upgraded with a US$6.9 million grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will bring untold benefits. Projected to give a huge boost to the tourism sector in Bhutan, it will save travellers a lot of time by cutting down the long and gruelling 12 hours or so drive on the roads to just a 30 minutes flight.
The national airline, Drukair will resume its domestic flight operations to Gelegphu and Yonphula, Trashigang from next month. According to a news release from Drukair, the first scheduled flight will fly on November 11, coinciding with the birthday of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.
Resumption of flights after several meetings
The official announcement comes after the national airline company, its parent organisation- Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) and the government had several meetings. Earlier on, BBS reported that Drukair submitted four proposals through DHI to the Finance Ministry for the operation of flights to Yonphula and Gelegphu. One of the proposals regarding the purchase of ATR-42 aircraft fail to get approved by the government.
Other proposals included the subsidy of Nu 400,000 per flight to meet the economic viability gap and one time establishment cost of about Nu 8m. Both were endorsed by the government, but the subsidy amount was reduced to Nu 300,000.
Frequency of flights
A news release also states that Drukair will operate three flights a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The flight time is expected to be about half an hour to Gelephu and another half an hour from Gelephu to Yongphula.
Drukair launched its in-country flight service in December 2011. However, flights to Gelegphu and Yonphula were irregular and suspended occasionally due to weather adversities and pebbles appearing on the runways.
Benefits of resuming flights to Gelephu to Yongphula
The two domestic airports Gelephu and Yongphula, upgraded with a US$6.9 million grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will bring untold benefits.
Projected to give a huge boost to the tourism sector in Bhutan, it will save travellers a lot of time by cutting down the long and gruelling 12 hours or so drive on the roads to just a 30 minutes flight.
Especially if tourists take up a 7 or 10 days package tour, it will allow them to see and do more and make the best of their trip to the magical kingdom of Bhutan.
Moreover, locals will also benefit economically with the boom in tourism besides shaving off much time travelling on the road.
The charms of Gelephu to Yongphula
Great news for tourists who want to see more of Bhutan. Gelephu which lies in the southern region is known for its picturesque plains. Nature lovers will certainly appreciate the indigenous wildlife found in the Royal Manas National Park.
As for Yongphula, which is located near Trashigang town, Bhutan’s easternmost dzongkhag, this is the gateway for tourists venturing into the surrounding villages and mountains. The exotic Trashigang is also famous for its fascinating Dzong and bazaar, both highly rated by tourists.
By Sonam Phuntsho (This article has been edited for the Bhutan Times)