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Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - 10:30 AM
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Domestic flight suspension hurts hotel business

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Younphula24dec12Druk Air’s inaugural domestic flight at the Yonphula airport in Trashigang

Yonphula, Trashigang: Suspension of domestic flight to Yonphula in Trashigang since June this year has resulted in poor business for hoteliers in the dzongkhag.

Hotels catering to tourists, like Druk Doethjung, Lingkhar resort and KC Hotel, saw numerous cancellations, because of unavailability of flights to the dzongkhag.

The flight was suspended for runway repair six months after it was started in December last year.

Hoteliers said those, who cancelled their reservations, were mostly tourists with a short travel plan in the country and no time to take the land route.

Druk Doethjung’s proprietor, Kinga, said more than 50 guests cancelled their reservation during the season.

Lingkhar resort lost around 30 tourists, after a couple chartered flights were called off, while KC hotel also had to let go of over 30 tourists.

“Without a domestic flight, there wasn’t a way for the tourists to tour the eastern region within a short span of time,” Kinga said.

But if the air service had continued, hoteliers said, it could have brought in many customers from within the country as well.

“There used to be civil servants taking flights to attend workshops in the east,” one said.

Meanwhile, some said, at this time of year, many would have resorted to taking the flight, while going for pilgrimage.

“It would have been a lot cheaper and convenient to attend the program in Punakha, if there was a flight,” a shopkeeper said.

The Druk Air officials in Yonphula said flights were expected to resume from next week.

“The second phase of runway maintenance work has been completed,” an official said, adding they could not resume in November as expected, since the runway needed more maintenance.

By Tempa Wangdi , T/gang

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