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Thomas Cook and SOTC Announce Charter Flights to Bhutan from Bengaluru

  • January 11, 2024
  • 3 min read
Thomas Cook and SOTC Announce Charter Flights to Bhutan from Bengaluru

Bhutan is known to be one of the happiest and greenest countries in the world

Thomas Cook (India) Limited and its Group company SOTC Travel have launched an exclusive charter flights to Paro (Bhutan) from Bengaluru, starting April 2024.

South India represents a key source market for Thomas Cook & SOTC Travel, already contributing over 45% to the companies’ business to the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, and growing. However, the significant challenge is the lack of direct air connectivity from India’s southern region, resulting in both an increase in cost (approximately 15%), and inconvenience (multiple flights, changing airports/terminals, multiple check-ins and baggage drop/collection, etc). This gap formed the genesis of the companies’ Blue Ocean strategy – with the launch of special characters to Bhutan from Bengaluru.

Bengaluru represents a strategic gateway, giving Thomas Cook and SOTC increased access via a hub and spoke model, to the powerful and growing source markets – of not just Karnataka, but also the larger Southern region.

Thomas Cook and SOTC Bhutan charters include group tours (GIT), individual travel (FIT) and adhoc groups, in a focused endeavour that targets multigenerational families, groups of friends, couples/honeymooners, and young India.

Bhutan is known to be one of the happiest and greenest countries in the world and the first carbon-negative nation.

The companies’ Bhutan Charter product includes handpicked experiences: a visit to Bhutan’s most sought after monasteries – Taktsang Palphug, Rinpung Dzong, the ancient Punakha Dzong; exploring the weekend market in Thimphu; learning archery; hot stone therapy at natural hot springs; sightseeing near Bhutan’s oldest walking suspension bridge – the Punakha Suspension Bridge. The tour also includes local Bhutanese meals, lunch at a farmhouse, beer tasting with snacks at Paro; and a local Bhutanese guide throughout the tour.

Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “Innovation is in our DNA, and the launch of our exclusive charters from Bengaluru is a smart strategy to leverage the growing interest towards the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. South India has contributed the largest share to Bhutan is a significant and growing market that we intend to tap via the launch of our charter departures. To inspire customers from this high growth market, we have designed a unique portfolio of products that offer the best of Bhutan.”

“Bengaluru was chosen due to its central location and ease in connectivity across key source markets of South India. Bhutan is truly a hidden gem and perfectly in sync with India’s rapidly evolving new age customers. The beautiful country is a harmonious blend of unique history, culture, breath-taking natural beauty, architecture, adventure, gastronomy and more,” added Kale.

Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head – Holidays, SOTC Travel Limited said, “2024 marks the 75th anniversary of SOTC, and our announcement of charter departures to Bhutan is a first mover to capitalise on uptick in demand. Our newly launched charter departures to Bhutan with Bengaluru as the gateway, offers our travellers from South India the benefits of ease and convenience with direct and exclusive flights to the destination.”

“Based on customer feedback, we have included experiences that are different from our traditional products. We are working closely with Bhutan Tourism and key local partners and will continue to enrich our products to delight Indian customers,” added D’souza.

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