Almost two years after Drukair terminated its operation to Gelephu domestic airport, scheduled flight resumed on November 11.

The first flight on November 11 had six passengers on board.

The airline now operates three times a week- Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, an increased operation by two days from once a week before the service was discontinued.

Department of Air Transport’s (DoAT) airport manager in Gelephu, Sonam Phuntsho, said that the department was impatiently waiting for flight operation to resume, as there was no maintenance or additional infrastructure works required at the airport.

Scheduled domestic flights to Gelephu were discontinued in December 2015 following instructions from the board of directors. The decision was made after Drukair reported financial losses.

Officials said the airline had been flying an average of three to four passengers to Gelephu and sometimes with just one to two passengers.

Following the government’s decision to provide the airlines with a subsidy of Nu 0.30 million per domestic flight, a test flight was conducted on October 18 at the Yonphula domestic airport.

Drukair will operate the flights at a promotional rate to both the airports. During the period, a one-way flight to Gelephu from Paro will cost Nu 3,570. Round trip for the public will cost Nu 6,250.

Fare cost for flights from Bumthang to Gelephu will be Nu 3,750 (one-way) and Nu 6,250 for round trip. The cost for a one-way flight from Paro to Gelephu will be Nu 2,520 and Nu 4,410 for a round trip. The cost will be same for trips between Gelephu and Yonphula.

The promotional fares are exclusive of applicable taxes and will be valid until February 2018.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang