Thursday, March 30, 2023

The National Airline May Soon Be Privatized!

One of the most recent rumors I heard is that the ball-breaker IMF will soon step in to bail out Bhutan. It is quite plausible - but that is not my worry. My worry is that among the first things they are set on doing is to privatize the government owned and operated Druk Air Corporation. That would be a total disaster! Unless the IMF’s restructuring team is yet again headed by a Singaporean, I believe that they will not see any merit in such a move - after all, Bhutan’s situation is pretty unique compared to most other economies.

Bhutan's national flag carrier - Druk Air

No denying that the Druk Air has been a problem in the national scheme of things - I have said so for years - that Druk Air needs to be shorn of their profit making mandate, that they need to fulfill their responsibilities as a national flag carrier. If they were to be privatized, it would be a disaster. In fact, they need to be delinked from the DHI and put under the social sector - as an apparatus of service  - to complement the national aspirations for a robust economic activity.

As a national entity that carries the national flag on their wings, their responsibility ought to transcend profit making. They cannot make profit - it is not humanly possible given the limitations under which they have to operate. But they can certainly help numerous other sectors make profit. Sadly, the opposite is true - the airline is being an impediment in the path of many.

The Druk Air is not a taxi service - they cannot behave like one. They are a national airline of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The least they can do is behave responsibly and show a level of dependability that is expected of a national flag carrier who has the distinction of being the only carrier that can don the national colors on their wings. At the least, they have to remember that whole lot of tourism players depend on their reliability and dependability.

What is the idea of changing their flight schedules and timings as if they were running a charter service? Isn’t a regular airline required to have a pre-planned program of flights that operate on a regular basis and on a pre-planned, published schedule? Once declared and published, how can they just change as and when they fancy? Don’t they realize that others work and plan based on their published schedules?

I understand that some one is already suing the Druk Air for their irresponsible behavior. I hope it is true.

1 comment:

  1. Postal ballots only for civil servants, students, military. All easy to be manipulated. India harping on border issues vis-a-vis China - easy excuse for election manipulation like the 2nd elections. Covid relief benefited rich at the cost of the treasury. Too many expensive experiments draining the treasury empty. With nothing to show. Major decisions for the country must invite public scrutiny and honest debates. A small group of people are ruining the country! Help us Kencho Sum - bring on the wrath of our protective deities!