Chhimi Dema

His Majesty  The King awarded the Druk Thuksey medal to Drukair Corporation Limited for the airline’s efforts in providing critical services to the country.

Drukair chief executive officer, Tandi Wangchuk, said that after serving for almost four decades it was the greatest honour to receive the recognition from the highest authority in the country.

He said: “Our hearts are filled with gratitude towards His Majesty The King.”

Records with the airline show that since the closure of the international borders on March 23 last year, it operated 360 flights transporting 18,778 adults and 128 infants, of which 7,223 adults and 52 infants were on an outbound flight.

The airline also made repatriation flights to the Middle East and cities beyond Drukair’s routes.

Sixty-three cargo flights were operated to bring about 665 tonnes of cargo, of which about 110 tonnes were medical cargo.

From 360 flights, 26 flights were to Kolkata to transport referral patients. This required frontline staff of the airline to spend a total of about 1,000 person-days in quarantine.

Drukair suffered a loss of Nu 814 million in 2020 and a projected loss of Nu 1.6 billion for 2021.

Tandi Wangchuk said that the visionary command by His Majesty to put the 3Ss (safety, standard, and service) above all else has been their guiding light.

“Our core values are derived from it, our operational protocols are regulated by it, our management functions are based on it,” he said.

Tandi Wangchuk said: “The team is highly motivated and is determined to work harder. With the honour there is the responsibility to do more and give the best.”

The airline has over 490 employees.