Second ATR to Bhutan


DRUKAIR – ROYAL Bhutan Airlines has taken delivery of a 40-seat ATR 42-600.

The turboprop A5-JNW (c/n 1412) is to be used on the airline’s domestic and international routes. It is the second example by the European firm to be acquired by the Bhutanese flag carrier following an ATR 42-500 in May 2011.

The manufacturer states the regional airliner was chosen for its “outstanding operational performance in challenging conditions” as it will serve small airports in the Himalayas, as well as linking Bhutan with Kathmandu, Kolkata and Dhaka.

Tandi Wangchuk, Drukair CEO, commented: “We have been flying an ATR aircraft since 2011 – its versatility and operational reliability have made it the ideal aircraft. When evaluating how to improve on this performance, it makes sense to upgrade to the latest generation and we look forward to introducing these evolutions to our passengers, particularly the modern Armonia cabin which will provide even more comfort to everyone on board.”

Stefano Bortoli, ATR chief executive officer, added: “There are few things more satisfying than seeing a loyal customer renew and upgrade its ATR fleet. This delivery once more shows the impact of our policy of continuous development, which ensures that when we introduce new products and innovations [we] offer real quality and value to our family of operators.

Delivering regional connectivity in the challenging operational conditions of Bhutan and its neighbouring countries takes a special aircraft and the ATR 42 600 is the perfect fit.”

The new aircraft is equipped with ATR’s ClearVision Enhanced Vision System (EVS). The technology uses exterior cameras to display augmented reality to a head mounted visor. EVS allows pilots to have a clear view of the runway even in low visibility conditions.

The Bhutanese flag carrier’s fleet consists of three Airbus A319 jets