India’s top online travel agency Make My Trip (MMT) in collaboration with Druk Air and Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) has agreed on having chartered flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Paro twice a week.
The chartered flight by MMT will only be flying Indian tourists coming through the holiday package. The package, including tickets and stay costs Nu 36,999 from Mumbai and Nu 33,999 from Delhi.
MMT has partnered with local hoteliers in Bhutan. This means the tourists coming through MMT will be accommodated at the selected hotels.
The flight from Mumbai is scheduled on Thursday and on Friday from Delhi. This will be for the first time Bhutan will be having direct flights to Mumbai.
An Indian news agency reported that MMT expressed the interest aiming to promote unexplored destination like Bhutan after the successful packages to Maldives, Andamans and Thailand.
Anand Kandadai, senior vice president of MMT told the news agency that Bhutan has been unexplored due to limited connectivity and through this offer he wants to highlight Paro as the next tourist destination.
The first chartered flight from Paro to Mumbai flew empty from here. However, when the same flight, delayed by 30 minutes was back, it was full with 114 Indian tourists as passengers.
The holiday package was designed coinciding with the low foreign tourist season months in summer in Bhutan. Last year the total number of regional tourists (mostly from India) was 12,410.
The first flight charted Druk Air flight also left many local Bhutanese passengers to Bangkok unhappy who had to wait for almost five hour at Paro. The flight scheduled to fly to Bangkok was rescheduled and flew to Mumbai to collect the MMT tourists.
But according to officials from Druk Air, the flight was rescheduled at 3pm from 15 May till the end of month. He said the change in timing was announced in the local media.
Sonam Wangchuk, marketing manager of Druk Air said, “The chartered flight from Mumbai is till 23 June and from Delhi is till July first week.”
According to the press release, the agreement was signed by the agencies as a pilot phase. The chartered flight might be extended beyond the agreement depending on response from the tourists. However, it will be difficult for local travels to get on board the Paro-Mumbai flight.
“It is a chartered flight so Druk Air will not be selling tickets to Mumbai but if locals are interested then they will have to get it touch with MMT,” said Sonam Wangchuk.