Best Flights to Bhutan: Airfares, Flight Bookings

Best Flights to Bhutan: Airfares, Flight Bookings

By CarolUpdated Aug. 12, 2021

Nestled in the Himalayas, Bhutan is one of the most remote countries on earth, and as you may have guessed, there are limited ways to get there! So, here are some ways one can travel to Bhutan.

Flights from 5 Countries to Bhutan

There is only one international airport in Bhutan — Paro International Airport. Since there are no direct flights to Paro from Europe and America, the easiest way to get to Bhutan is to first fly to an Asian country and then transfer to Bhutan. Only five countries are connected to Bhutan via air: Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Singapore, and Thailand. 

Tourists mostly prefer taking a flight to Nepal and then continuing their onward journey to Bhutan. There are about 6 flights a week from Kathmandu to Paro. The flight distance between the two cities is 400 km (250 mi), and it takes around 1½ hours.

There are three flights a week to Paro International Airport from Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which usually take 1½ hours.

Singapore is further away from Bhutan than Nepal and India. The flight distance between Singapore Airport and Paro International Airport is 3,270 km (2,030 miles), with a flight duration of about five hours with layover time.  There are two flights a week from Singapore to Bhutan on Thursdays and Saturdays.

From India, there are multiple flights to Paro. There are several airports in different cities that you can choose from, including Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, and Bagdogra.

Thailand offers daily direct flights from Bangkok to Paro per week. The flight distance is about 1,900 km (1,100 miles), and it takes approximately three hours to reach Paro. Also, Bangkok and Paro can be connected through Bagdogra, Kolkata, and Guwahati. 

Here is all the information you need on flight schedules to and from Paro, Bhutan [April 2020].

Arrive Frequency Cost (USD) Average Duration
Bagdogra 2 weekly 125 1 hour 10 minutes
Bangkok Daily 530 2 hour 10 minutes
Dhaka 2 weekly 220 1 hour 30 minutes
Guwahati 2 weekly 140 1 hour 20 minutes
Kathmandu 11 weekly 230 1 hour 20 minutes
Kolkata Daily 240 1 hour 40 minutes
New Delhi 5 weekly 330 1 hour 45 minutes
Singapore 2 weekly 1200 3 hour 20 minutes

 

  • The flight schedule is subject to change daily.
  • Flight fare is just for reference.
  • The table above is only a general schedule, and there are adjustments made to flight schedules on a day-to-day basis.
Recommended Articles

Which Airlines Fly to Bhutan

There are two airlines that operate international flights to and from Paro — the state-owned Drukair and a private airline company called Bhutan Airlines, which is a subsidiary of Tashi Air.

They are the only airlines that operate flights to and from Bhutan. Foreign airlines are prohibited from landing at Paro International Airport.

Drukair

Drukair is the flagship airline of the kingdom of Bhutan. Headquartered in the western region of Paro, Drukair began operations in 1983. The airline fleet consists of Airbus A319/320 with 16 business and 102 economy seats, and ATR 42-600 with 8 business and 32 economy seats.

Drukair operates many flights within the Southeast Asian region. It currently serves 12 destinations in 6 countries. Flights usually operate from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Drukair is known for its exceptional service, warm hospitality, and delicious meals on board (including vegetarian and non-vegetarian options), although there is no in-flight entertainment service.

Online booking, a check-in facility, and flight status checks are available on the airline’s website at https://www.drukair.com

Carry-on allowance: 5 kg (11 lb)

Luggage allowance: 30 kg (66 lb)

Excess luggage fee (per kg): 1.5% of the airfare

Meal included: no

Seat reservation included: yes

Credit card fee: no

Bhutan Airlines

Tashi Airlines is the first private airline in Bhutan, trading under the name of Bhutan Airlines, with headquarters in Thimphu. It began its first commercial flight in 2013, which flew to Bangkok from Paro. Bhutan Airlines operates two fleets of Airbus A319 with a seating capacity of 122 passengers.

The airline serves four destinations in three countries: Nepal, India, and Thailand. Flights typically operate as early as 7:40 a.m. and continue until 5:30 p.m.

The service and food onboard are excellent. Hot and cold drinks are also available on the plane. There is also the option of shopping for in-flight merchandise.

Online booking, a check-in facility, and flight status checks are available on the airline’s website at http://www.bhutanairlines.bt

Carry-on allowance: 5 kg (11 lb)

Luggage allowance: 30 kg (66 lb)

Excess luggage fee (per kg): US$2–3

Meal included: no

Seat reservation included: yes

Credit card fee: no

Flying from the United States

Whether traveling from the west coast or the east coast, American travelers can choose to fly to either Delhi (India) or Kathmandu (Nepal) first, and then board a flight to Paro, Bhutan.

Most of the flights from the United States to Delhi last 14–17 hours, with round trip ticket costs ranging from US$900 to US$1,100. Some of the leading airlines include Indian Airlines, American Airlines, and Emirates.

Flights from Delhi to Paro cost around US$335 and take 2 hours 50 minutesThe trip from Kathmandu to Paro is the most popular, with a flying time of about 1½ hours and a ticket cost of around US$230. Since there are no direct flights from the US to Kathmandu, you will need to take a connecting flight from Doha (Qatar), Dubai (UAE), or Guangzhou (China). The price to and from the United States to one of the three cities is about US$1,000–1,200. These routes are largely operated by Qatar Airways and China Southern Airlines.

Recommended Itinerary

Flying from the UK

Travelers from the UK or anywhere in Europe still need to take a long-haul flight to one of the airports in Asia. In addition to taking a connecting flight in Delhi or Kathmandu, travelers from the UK can also fly from Bangkok. Most airlines in Europe operate direct flights to Bangkok.

The flying time between the UK and Delhi is about 12 hours, and these flights usually cost around US$800–1,100 for a return journey. The major airlines that operate flights on this route are British Airways, Air India, and Air France. From Delhi, you can board another flight to Paro, which takes 1½–2 hours and costs US$330.

If you plan to fly from the UK to Kathmandu, the shortest flight duration is about 12–14 hours via Doha, Dubai, or Oman. Flight fares are seasonal, with an average cost of US$600–1,000. Spend another 1½ hours on the plane from Kathmandu to Paro. The ticket cost for the flight is US$230.

There are many non-stop flights operating from the UK and about half of the European countries to Bangkok, mainly operated by Thai Airways and some other airlines. Flight times last around 12 hours, and the ticket prices range US$900–1000. An extra stop-over may give you a better price. It is quite convenient to travel to Paro from Bangkok, as there are daily flights that take around 2½ hours and cost US$530.

Flying from Australia

To fly from Australia to Bhutan, you will need to take a connecting flight, as there are no direct flights to the Himalayan kingdom. Most travelers choose to transfer flights in Singapore or Bangkok owing to the convenience and low fares.

Flights take off daily from the major cities in Australia to Singapore. With a flying time of around eight hours, the tickets cost anywhere between US$900 and US$1100 per person. The leading airlines operating on this route are Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. However, the trip from Singapore to Paro takes 3½ hours and is expensive, costing over US$1200, but it’s the fastest way to get to Paro.

The flight from Australia to Bangkok takes about nine hours and costs around US$1,000 per person. Thai Airways and Qantas offer non-stop flights. Once you reach Bangkok, you can make your onward journey any day as flights operate daily from Bangkok to Paro. The flying time between the two is 2½ hours, and the tickets cost US$350.

Air Fares and Booking

Whether you plan to take a connecting flight from Bangkok, Singapore, Delhi, or Kathmandu, do remember that you need to buy a ticket to and from the place from where you will connect to Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines. Tickets can be purchased online using credit cards through the airlines’ official website. There are no discounts or student concessions, except for Bhutanese citizens.

You can also ask a travel agent to book tickets for you. At Asia Highlights, we keep you updated on the flight status and any changes that may occur in flight schedules. If you choose to cancel your flight, you are likely to get a refund faster through us.

Sightseeing Experience from Bhutan Flights

The Nepal–Bhutan flight offers an exciting sightseeing experience. Fly from Kathmandu to Paro and try to opt for a window seat on the left side of the plane. When the flight takes off, depending on the weather, you can catch a glimpse of the beautiful Boudha Stupa.

The spectacular Himalayan mountains will leave you enchanted with their might. You can see Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and more. Besides, you will have the opportunity to see the Sikkim Himalaya range, including Mt. Chomo Yummo, Mt. Pauhunri, and Mt. Shudu Tsenpa.

From India to Bhutan, flights can also provide views of the towering snow-capped mountains. Remember to peep through your window on the left, so that you can enjoy the beautiful scenery. Before arriving at Paro International Airport, you will get another chance to see the fantastic snow-capped mountains.

How to Reach Bhutan from India by Road

Bhutan is one of India’s closest neighbors, and the land route connecting the two countries presents a series of spectacular landscapes. Many travelers combine their India tour with a short stay in Bhutan. There are three points where you can cross over the Indian border and into Bhutan: Samdrup Jongkhar, Gelephu, and Phuentsholing.  

Quick Facts

  • Phuentsholing, in the west of Bhutan, is 170 km (100 mi) from Thimphu.
  • Gelephu, in central Bhutan, is 250 km (155 miles) from Thimphu.
  • Samdrup Jongkhar, to the east of Bhutan, is 700 km (435 miles) from Thimphu.

 

Samdrup Jongkhar is located in the far east and shares its border with Assam. It is a lesser-used route, but there are a few that use this route to enter and leave the country. Tourists rarely use Gelephu, since it is relatively remote. However, if you plan to visit the eastern and central parts of Bhutan, you can choose one of these borders to cross.

Guwahati Airport is the gateway to Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu in Assam, which has flights to and from Kolkata, Delhi, and Bagdogra. By road, the journey takes four hours to reach Guwahati Airport from Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu. It requires another 10+ hour drive from these two borders to Thimphu.

Travelers mostly prefer to cross the border at Phuentsholing, especially those traveling from West Bengal to Bhutan. Phuentsholing is the most straightforward and convenient route to take, and you can quickly reach Thimphu within a few hours.

Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport to Phuentsholing, which takes four hours to reach by road. The airport has flights connecting to major Indian cities like Mumbai and Delhi. You can reach Thimphu in about six hours from Phuentsholing.

Recommended Itinerary

Tips for Taking a Flight to Bhutan

  • Reconfirm your flight before departure and also at Paro International Airport to make sure the itinerary has not changed. Flights are checked in early because they sometimes take off before the scheduled time, especially when the weather starts to get worse.
  • The unpredictable weather of an alpine environment can cause flights to be delayed, so ensure you have several hours of transit time in your selected city on the way home.
  • Druk Air recommends that you travel on non-restricted tickets and allow at least 24 hours’ transit time with your connecting flight to minimize the complications of delays.
  • In Bhutan, the peak season is quite short, from March to May and again from September to October, so tickets may be quite limited. It is recommended that you book your accommodation and flights well in advance.
  • Flight schedules are always adjusted according to different seasons. There will be additional flights during Thimphu Tsechu in October and Paro Tsechu in April.
  • Stop-overs can be inconvenient, but they can also be an opportunity to experience new cities in Asia — for example, Kathmandu will give you an extra taste of the Himalayas. Give yourself a few more days to explore Kathmandu in sharp contrast to the tranquility of Bhutan.
  • The Bhutanese visa is the only way to Bhutan and can only be applied for by travel agencies. Once the permit is issued, you will receive a visa clearance letter. You will need to get your passport stamped upon arrival in Bhutan.

Explore Bhutan with Asia Highlights

Searching for flights to Bhutan is not an easy task. So, leave the hassle to us! Our professional travel advisers will carefully select your flight for you. They will provide you with plenty of information about how to spend your time in any of the Asian countries during your layover.

Plan a Bhutan trip with us, and you won’t have to worry about any problems during your tour.

Why Travel with Asia Highlights

  • Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
  • Worry-free planning: Every step of your trip, you will be looked after by your 1:1 travel consultant based in Asia.
  • No-risk booking: We refund as much as we can and adapt flexibly to unexpected changes.

12-Day India and Bhutan Tour

More Travel Ideas and Inspiration

Get Inspired with Our Sample Itineraries

At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.

We are here to help you...
Start planning your tailor-made Asia tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create My Trip
About Us
At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. Not just any journey, but the unique trip with the exceptional experiences you're looking for — whether it's a family vacation, a honeymoon, or your annual break. more ...
Rated 4.8 out of 5 | Excellent
Featured on
Medias