Sunday, September 27, 2015

Thank God the nation has another Airline.

Thank you BBS for informing all that the patient dumped by Druk Air was able to get to Bangkok on a chartered flight of Bhutan Airlines ( Tashi Air ). It is at times and situation like this that one realises and appreciates why monopoly is bad for  fair business and equity.

Without the Bhutan Airlines of Tashi the patient could not have made it today to Bangkok. Druk Air was not even willing to discuss the case until Monday ( when BBS contacted Druk Air, the response was wait till Monday. Only intense pressure from social media compelled Druk Air to issue their statement this evening ).


  1. Dear Wangcha Sangey ,

    I will have to disagree with you on this one. I completely agree with the decision of the Captain of Druk Air. The Captain was very level headed in the decision he took, under the circumstances.

    The Captain of the ship is the sole authority and his decision alone must prevail over all others. He has to take a decision based NOT on emotions but on the realities that face him and the eventualities that could result from a misplaced humanitarian decision. He is not the Mother Teresa but the Captain of the ship and the custodian of 109 human lives. The Captain is not accountable to one passenger but the collective 109 individuals that were on board the ship. A situation that was unfavorable to 108 other passengers on board is certainly something that cannot be acceptable to a Captain who is responsible to the safety and comfort of all the rest of the passengers and the ship itself.

    Remember, when the cookies crumble, the Captain will not be judged on the basis of his humanitarian compulsions but on his capability as a leader and his sense of responsibility towards the larger good of a larger number of human life, as opposed to the discomfort of one individual.

    Your son Sangey Wangchuk is a RBA Major – please ask him what kind of decision he would have taken in a similar situation, where he is the Commanding Officer of a platoon, caught in a precarious situation in the battlefield. Would he have accepted one bleeding soldier to endanger the lives of the rest of the soldiers? I know that the situation was not as perilous, but 109 people in a sealed plane for close to six hours ….. any thing could happen. Already, as reported, people began to puke even while they were on the ground. Imagine what would happen when they are airborne – in a sealed aircraft.

    I am not a great fan of Druk Air but for once I am glad that they have in their employ a Captain who is levelheaded and is capable of hard decisions. I get the feeling that the Captain will come under lot of criticism from misguided people with misguided concepts of how to commandeer a ship but he should take strength in the fact that he did his duty and, possibly averted a disaster hundred times greater than the discomfort of one single passenger.

  2. Dear Anonymous it would have been good if you stated your name. However I appreciate your gentlemanly approach. I have not held the individual captain responsible for anything. From the beginning I believed that it was a final call of the Management. You can refer to all my comments.

    Here all I am saying is that it is a personal relief that the dumped patient reached Bangkok for medical treatment. He was dumped for whatever the validity of the ground is.

    Since you seem to be a person of substantive reasoning maybe you can hear me out. At 12:30 noon on Saturday a person asked if I could comment on the link he sent. It was the daughter's letter to Druk Air. I had already seen that. My response to him was, " I have read it and feel it has already spread to concerned authorities. Let's await for positive official response. "

    Only in the evening BBS had the story and the information that Druk Air will be responding only on Monday. It was then I made my first comment. I did not even mention the word pilot.

    I know going to a hospital in India could be done by an air conditioned car but Bangkok is different. Suppose there was no alternative airline what happens till Monday. Druk Air clarified later on Sunday that discounted chartered flight was offered to the escort for the next day but there was no response. If it was so, could not Druk Air tell that to BBS on Saturday itself. Why say wait till Sunday. It is possible that the patient and family may have left for Bangkok by the time Druk Air decided to clarify and Druk Air knew about it.

    Between you and me could passengers be moved to Business class/ first class if seats were available and move the patient family ( total eight it was said ) to the tail end ). Not all economy class would fit but some in between space could have been created. The 4 foreign tourists may have been objecting because they were in the forefront to the unpleasant smell in the business class.

    I do not blame the pilot. He seems to have done his duty to ensure a smooth flight by seeking consent. But I feel it was not at all the right decision for Druk Air Management to tell BBS that response can be given only on Monday. I am not saying you have to agree with me.

    But I sure am glad that the patient family got the means to charter a flight. Any other Bhutanese of low income may have had to rot to death. Its a fearful thought.