Drukair – Royal Bhutan Airlines, has appointed the first lady captain of Bhutan – Ugyen Dema.
Drukair Corporation Limited, founded in 1981, operating as Drukair-Royal Bhutan Airlines, is the flag carrier of the Kingdom of Bhutan, headquartered in the western dzongkhag of Paro.
A report published on Tuesday by Kuensel stated that Bhutan saw its first female captain for the national airlines on Monday after about 35 years since Drukair started its operation.
Thirty-three-year-old Ugyen Dema, donned four stripes over her shoulders on Monday as Bhutan’s first female captain.
It has been reported that Drukair has 19 captains of which 12 are non-Bhutanese and Ugyen Dema is now part of the 17 Bhutanese captains among the flight crew at Drukair.
Following a marchang ceremony in the morning, Drukair’s senior first officer Ugyen Dema was promoted to a captain.
Towards the evening, she flew her first flight as a captain to Bangkok.
The report quoted Drukair’s chief executive officer, Tandi Wangchuk, as saying that becoming a captain meant one was qualified technically and mentally. Wangchuk said: “Once the aircraft door closes and until it opens at the next station the captain is in charge of the aircraft. The captain makes all the decisions.”
Ugyen Dema, who was the first female Bhutanese pilot, joined Drukair in 2006.
Ugyen is one of the only two female pilots in Bhutan both of whom fly for Drukair.
The report quoted Ugyen as saying: “We have visionary leaders who make sure that we have equal opportunities. But to take the opportunities for yourself setting personal goals is important.”
CEO Tandi Wangchuk said that in bigger airlines, pilots reach captainship earlier than it did in Bhutan. This is due to required flying hours that is less in Bhutan.
Drukair has 462 employees of which 120 are female.
“There aren’t many female pilots and aviation is a male dominated area. I hope I can inspire young girls to become pilots,” Ugyen Dema said, adding, “My mother has always been my source of inspiration because of how consistent she is with everything. Challenges are the same for male and female and gender has nothing to do with becoming a pilot.”
There has been also non-stop air service between Guwahati and Singapore, operated by Drukair Royal Bhutan Airlines and this route marks the first direct connection between Northeast India and Singapore. Drukair flights also operates flights in between Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport in Guwahati and Paro in Bhutan.
— Drukair (@Drukair) November 5, 2018