Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Has Generated Profits And Served More Than 500 Tourists And Locals Since 2016

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The RBHS was launched with the primary objective of providing services during medical emergencies and natural disasters and also for tourism purposes.

Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services. (Source: Facebook/Bhutanheli)

 

By Lucky Wangmo | Business Bhutan

A profit of Nu 89mn was generated since the launch of the Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services (RBHS) in 2016. The RBHS generated a total revenue of Nu 135mn in 2016 with a profit of Nu 64mn and in 2017, the revenue increased to Nu 163mn.

“To state that the initiative of introducing helicopter services is a success would be a huge understatement as the numbers speak for themselves,” said Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay while presenting the State of the Nation report to the Parliament in July this year.

Aims of launching the Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services

The RBHS was launched with the primary objective of providing services during medical emergencies and natural disasters and also for tourism purposes.

According to the report, in the last two years, RBHS has undertaken 292 medical evacuations, 10 fire-fighting services, four airlifting of relief materials during flood and 64 various aerial works.

 

Source: Facebook/Bhutanheli

 

A total of 510 chartered flights were also undertaken for tourists, locals and highlanders.

To make the helicopter services accessible to all dzongkhags, the government has designated and developed 61 helipads across the country.

On the other hand, with the tourism industry booming in the country, with it being the highest GDP contributor, the efficiency and reliability of air services is of paramount importance.

Huge growth in air travel in Bhutan

International air travel has almost doubled since 2012, from 182,000 in 2012 to 314,000 in 2017. Similarly, improvements were made to the domestic airports in Bumthang, Gelephu and Yongphula.

“The domestic air travel sector saw an increase of just 970 passengers in 2012 to 12,000 in 2017,” according to the State of Nation report.

Lyonchhen Dasho Tshering Tobgay also said that in the transport system, one of the biggest benefits has come through via the reduction in fuel prices.

He also added that although fuel prices have been increasing in the global oil market, fuel prices in the country are still relatively lower than India’s.

With the tourism sector growing in Bhutan, the Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services could tap further into this industry. There is still much room for it to expand its wings.

 

This article first appeared in Business Bhutan and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.

 


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