Jaigaon, Nov. 9: Druk Air will begin direct services to Gaya, in Uttar Pradesh, from November 11, king Jigme Singye Wangchuk’s birthday.
Sources said the airline was also contemplating starting services to Delhi and Calcutta. Plans to introduce flights to Dhaka and Kathmandu are also in the pipeline.
Managing director of the airline Sangay Khandu said: “Bodh Gaya, which is within 10 km of Gaya, is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from all over the world. More than 40,000 Buddhists from Bhutan visit Gaya annually. The journey, for so long, was time consuming and tiring. With direct flight services, all that is set to change.”
Sources said apart from the tourism aspect, the Paro-Gaya flights would also strengthen the relations between the two neighbouring countries.
Druk Air general manager Namgay Wangchuk said initially the the service would be available only once a week.
“The flight will leave from Paro International Airport on Tuesdays. Once we gauge the revenue earning potential, we might begin services on Fridays as well,” he said.
Speaking of the fare for the one hour journey, the marketing officer of the airline said: “The tickets have been priced at 5,348 Ngultrum and the fare will remain the same till February next year.”