YK Poudel

With Drukair’s launch of interline e-ticketing yesterday, passengers can now book a single ticket for an entire journey among other services, involving Drukair and Turkish Airlines flights.

Interline between Drukair and Turkish Airlines is an arrangement for handling passengers and their baggage. The journey is made seamless with a single ticket and itinerary—even when their travel involves flights with multiple airlines.

Drukair Chief Executive Officer, Tandi Wangchuk said that the need for this facility was felt during the pandemic when the airline and Bhutanese living abroad faced inconveniences due to the interline system. “During the pandemic, Bhutanese airline had to fly around 35 times in the UAE where our airlines do not have direct flight schedule—only because of the absence of interline service.”

He said: “The bilateral system will bring benefits for Bhutan with advanced stages of collaboration and services, InterAirline Through Check-in (IATCI). Drukair has signed agreements with Thai Airways, Air India, and Vietnam Airlines, and talks on bilateral agreement with Lufthansa Group of Airlines is underway.”

Turkish Airlines operates flights across 350 destinations within 126 countries.

The partnership according to the press release from Drukair would bring expanded destinations for travellers, flexibility in itinerary changes, smoother customer support and convenience, as the collaboration will allow passengers to seamlessly book connecting flights on both Druk Air and Turkish Airlines through a single reservation.

Drukair’s Project Manager Ugen Tenzin, said that the airline being small had challenges while taking this step with one of the top five airlines in the world. “The reservation system—the difference in the ticketing system was one of the major challenges – has been made seamless now after over a year of the system integration.”

The interline system, he said, will solve the transit visa issue for tourists arriving in the country. The new system will not affect the ticket fees, the manager said.