National airline Druk Air has ordered a third airbus jet. Druk Air signed a memorandum of understanding with manufacturer Airbus at Singapore air show yesterday.
But with a long waiting list for the popular Airbus A319 jet, Druk Air will take delivery of the aircraft only in 2015, the airline’s marketing head, Sonam Wangchuk said.
Druk Air has purchased this third aircraft to allow expansion of its route network. The airline added Singapore and the Indian city of Mumbai as new sectors, beginning May, this year.
Until the new aircraft arrives, Druk Air will lease another A319. The leased aircraft is expected to arrive only in September, which means that the new sectors of Singapore and Mumbai will also be postponed until then, said Sonam Wangchuk. The leased aircraft was initially supposed to arrive in April, allowing for a May expansion of routes.
While Drukair will be purchasing the same type of aircraft it currently operates, the new aircraft will be slightly different as they will be fitted with blended winglets that airbus calls ‘sharklets’. A blended winglet is a device fitted to the end of wing to improve the aircraft’s efficiency, such as reducing fuel consumption.
The airline’s current air- bus aircraft are equipped with wingtip fences, which is a variant of a winglet. An airbus press release states that the new ‘sharklets’ will allow Drukair to expand to new markets in the most fuel efficient way. It stated that the ‘sharklets’ would reduce fuel burn by up to 3.5 percent, a reduction equivalent to the carbon dioxide produced by around 200 cars annually.