Athletes traveling in and out of the country for sports events will be eligible for airfare discounts of up to 50 percent

Partnership: To help in the development of sports in the country, the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) and Drukair have agreed to make the national airline the committee’s official flying partner.

An MoU was signed to this effect in Thimphu yesterday.

The two-year MoU that comes in to effect from April 1 allows BOC to obtain special concessions for international competitions abroad and procurement of equipment and sporting gear.

In turn, BOC will provide visibility for Drukair by reflecting the company’s name on all sporting attire, wherever allowed by organisers.

Drukair officials said that BOC will receive up to 50 percent discounts on air tickets during the off-season and during peak seasons, discounts of up to 30 percent will be offered.

Numerous athletes and officials travel to represent the country at various regional, continental and international games and events, annually.

BOC officials said that several international athletes and officials also visit the country to take part in numerous BOC sporting events such as the Bhutan International Marathon and the Tour of the Dragon, and numerous sports related events.

BOC secretary general Sonam Karma Tshering said that on average 250 athletes and officials take part in international competitions. “With this MoU in place we would be saving about Nu 2 million every year from air tickets,” he said. “This vital saving can be used for the promotion of sports in the country.”

Officials from Drukair said that the MoU will also facilitate seamless connectivity during times of international competition whereby all the necessary ticketing for the team and officials will be done by the company wherever possible.

Drukair CEO Tandi Wangchuk said that the airline has been rendering special sports discounts to federations such as football, basketball and cricket on an informal basis. “With the MoU in place we can now formally contribute to the sports development,” he said. “It is our privilege to be partnering with an organisation like BOC in the development of youth and promotion of sporting culture in the country.”

According to BOC, the MoU is in line with its aim of bringing together all key stakeholders to collaborate and support the development and delivery of sports and recreation through partnerships that are mutually beneficial.

Younten Tshedup