Review of Druk Air flight Kolkata Paro in Economy

Airline Druk Air
Flight KB 501
Class Economy
Seat 6E
Aircraft Airbus A319
Flight time 00:35
Take-off 14 Apr 13, 08:45
Arrival at 14 Apr 13, 09:50
KB 6 reviews
TerryYong
By GOLD 5081
Published on 27th October 2013
At Kolkata, continuing passengers to Paro were requested to remain onboard while only a handful of Kolkata-bound pax disembarked. Crew did a head-count and hand-carry baggage check, but the cabin was not cleaned.

At Kolkata. Spot the Indigo A320 with sharklets!

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Economy class seat.

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Went into the Business Class cabin and took a photo of the Business Class seat while still on the ground.

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Barely 15min after landing, the Kolkata-originating passengers boarded, the the plane ended up almost totally full! Guess there is a huge demand for seats on the CCU-PBH sector! Doors closed, safety demo shown and we taxied to Rwy19L again, taking off bound for Bhutan. It would only be a short 45min flight to Paro.

As the entire flight was rather bumpy, the seatbelt signs were remained on. However the crew continued with the service, first handing out Bhutan immigration forms. Here is the reverse of the form.

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This was followed by a refreshment box, which again were either vegetarian or non-vegetarian, and drinks from the drink cart. The snack was apparently catered from SIN. I had a mango juice to go along this time.

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Tried the vegetarian option, which was a cheese and mushroom panini sandwich. The non-vegetarian option was a chicken panini sandwich. Both came with a sunflower seed cookie. The sandwiches were both cold and hard, but the cookie was nice.

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After the refreshment boxes and cups were cleared, we started our descent into Paro. Not much of a descend needed as the airport is 7300ft above sea level! The airport is also one of the trickiest to land in and currently, I think only Drukair pilots are qualified to land there.

Just overflying the mountains of Bhutan before entering the valley.

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Entering the valley.

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Flying just beside mountains.

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Houses on the slopes of the mountains were even higher than us!

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Still making left and right turns within the narrow valley, with mountains at both sides of the plane.

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Making a steep right turn to the runway.

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Sweeping pass buildings on hilltops.

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Almost there…

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Lower…

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Just over the runway….

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And the skillful Drukair pilots made a very smooth touch down in Paro Airport Rwy33 (the previous landing in Kolkata was very smooth as well).

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We made a U-turn and taxied back along the runway to the apron, where the Drukair's other two A319s have also arrived. The entire Drukair fleet was now at Paro!

Parked at the stand.

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Crew drew the curtains for the Business Class pax to disembark via stairs, followed by Economy Class.

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Stairs were also used at the rear for disembarkation.

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Another Drukair A319 across the tarmac being prepared for the next flight.

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Passing the 3rd A319 while walking along the tarmac towards arrival immigration hall.

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Control tower and the King and Queen.

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Welcome to the Land of Thunder Dragon!

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Town of Paro

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Bhutanese-styled buildings in Paro

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Tiger's Nest temple from a distance.

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Mountains and fields

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A hill-side resort.

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View of Paro Airport from National Museum.

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Down the valley.

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On the 1+hr car ride through winding roads from Paro to the capital town, Thimphu.

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Kinda bare mountains.

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Nice scenery along the way.

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Welcome to Thimphu!

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Getting more built up.

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The most famous road junction in Bhutan.

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Clocktower Square. My hotel, Hotel Druk, is within the red building.

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Close up of the Clocktower.

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Painted walls.

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King and Queen of Bhutan.

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Prayer wheels outside my hotel.

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Dusk

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World's largest published book, as verified by Guiness World of Records.

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Traditional Bhutanese wooden bowl.

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Crafting wooden masks.

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Memorial for the 3rd King.

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Verdict

Druk Air

7.3/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Meal/catering7.5

Kolkata - CCU

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Paro - PBH

7.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

It was a really unique experience flying Drukair. although they might not be one of the best out there, they are still acceptable for short-haul flights. Probably the about the same standards as Silkair I would think, though the high fares charged might raise the expectations of passengers by a notch.

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