Thimphu - Drukair, the flag carrier of the Kingdom of Bhutan, has signed a purchase agreement for an A320neo to support its growth plans and complement its existing fleet of three A319.

The aircraft will be powered by CFM Leap-1A engines optimized for high altitude operations and will become the largest aircraft at the Drukair base in Paro.

Paro, located at an altitude of more than 2,200 meters (7218 feet) and surrounded by high mountains with peaks at 5,500 meters (18,000 feet), is one of the most difficult airports in the world.

Thanks to the A320neo's unmatched performance, it will become the largest aircraft to operate from Paro, offering higher payload capacity and higher passenger comfort than any other aircraft there.

With a two-class cabin (20 in Business class and 120 in Economy), the A320neo will be deployed to increase capacity on existing routes to Singapore, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Delhi, and Calcutta.

The Drukair fleet includes three 118-seat Airbus A319-100s and a 48-seat ATR 42-500. Another turboprop, an ATR 42-600 will be available from July 2019.