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New Airline Alert: Get High in the Himalayas with Bhutan Airlines

Where: Bhutan
September 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM | by | ()

Bhutan, the little country tucked away in the Himalayas, has some big plans for increasing the number of tourists visiting the country. Now, air access to the high altitude nation is just that much easier with the launch of Bhutan Airlines and expanded international service.

The new national airline will officially take off on October 10 with flights originating in Bangkok and flying over mountain peaks to the nation's only international airport in Paro. As you can probably guess, the terrain and remote location make Paro one of the more dangerous airports from which to take off and land, so perhaps read the fine print on your travel insurance policy.

Even though the alpine village only has a population of about 15,000, it is a perfect jumping off point for outdoor activities including hiking and climbing mountains other than Everest.

Bhutan Airlines will be using some Airbus metal in the form of an A320. Flying the roughly 3-hour route in comfort won't be a problem since the aircraft will sport both premium and economy cabins. As for in-flight entertainment, gazing out at the 18,000-foot peaks as the aircraft nears Paro should be enough.

If all goes to plan, the airline will open to more international destinations, like Dhaka, Bangladesh, Singapore, Nepal, Dubai, and Hong Kong. If you decide to hop on this new airline, just make sure you obtain the correct travel documents since the 'Land of the Thunder Dragon' has some strict entry requirements.

[Photo: Bhutan-360/Flickr]

Archived Comments:

Druk Air?

Druk Air is the official National airline of Bhutan. Are they re-branding themselves with a new name or is this a completely new airline??

Druk Air clarification

Apologies for using the term 'national airline' an causing confusion. Druk Air will still service the airport and continue to be the national airline. This is a completely new private airline that will operate as Bhutan Airlines for Tashi Air.

Druk Air

ah! Thanks for the clarification. Nice to have a new airline to an airport with very few options!

Climbing Mountains

Hi, Jaunted. I just wish to comment that one cannot climb mountains in Bhutan as you mention up there- "it is a perfect jumping off point for outdoor activities including hiking and climbing mountains". High altitude trekking such as the very demanding "Snowman Trek", often called the world's most difficult trek, is probably the closest you would get, reaching the base of Mount Jhomolhari itself. Mountain climbing, unlike Nepal, is illegal for religious reasons. Cheers, Keshav (www.bhutanrebirth.com)