Bhutan’s national airline Drukair has signed a firm order for an Airbus A319 aircraft equipped with Sharklet fuel saving wing tip devices to complement its existing fleet of two A319s.
The order announced at the Farnborough International Airshow, follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed in February.
Landlocked and surrounded by a wall of the world’s tallest mountains, Bhutan is one of the world’s most pristine locations and one of the world’s most challenging destinations for air services.
At over 7,000 feet above sea level, Drukair’s base at Paro airport is only possible using Visual Flight Rules for approach.
This means the crew can only fly by vision, which requires a high performance and responsive aircraft.
“We are delighted to be ordering the Airbus A319 equipped with fuel saving Sharklets,” said Dasho Sonam Tshering, Drukair chairman.
“The addition of a third A319 will enable us to increase capacity and open up new direct routes and to welcome even more visitors to our landlocked country where aviation really is our gateway to the world. Its economic importance cannot be overestimated.”
The A319 with Sharklets will allow Drukair to expand services on existing routes and adding new ones to international tourist crossroads like Singapore and Hong Kong.