Bhutan lures high-end travellers with air charters

DRUKAIR, the national carrier of Bhutan, has entered into an exclusive agreement with Chapman Freeborn for the introduction of charter planes and helicopters, opening up the destination to international private jet travellers.

Chapman Freeborn will provide the service and obtain the necessary permits to operate charters to Bhutan.

Unlike MakeMyTrip which operates air charters to Bhutan, targeting bulk load of leisure travellers, the Chapman Freeborn service will cater to high net-worth individual travellers in the luxury travel segment.

Shailendra Seth, director, Chapman Freeborn, said in a media statement: “Our aim is to promote luxury travel to Bhutan. The use of aircraft charter services through helicopters has a distinct advantage over scheduled operators. It provides the fastest available mode of transport on short notice, the quickest accessibility to remote areas, no waiting time at check-in counters and at airports for connecting flights and hence is very attractive to the time-conscious clientele.”

Landing at Paro International Airport, located 2,128m above sea level, requires Drukair-certified specialist navigators.

The Drukair-Chapman Freeborn alliance is expected to attract private jet users in markets such as the US, the UK and Europe, and emerging markets in Asia.

Sanjay Kothari, managing director, Just Holidays, said: “Bhutan is a luxury destination with limited access. Air charters will allow us to package luxury holidays for high-end clientele without worrying about flight frequency or connectivity.”

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