*The first mass-produced model known to the everyday collector, that is. I'm sure corporate and custom jobs are out there.
Drukair - Royal Bhutan Airlines is the state-owned flag carrier of Bhutan, a kingdom with a population of less than 1 million nested in the Himalayas. The airline is as modest as the country itself with a current fleet of only 5 aircraft: three A319s, one A320neo (the model released by Phoenix), and one ATR 42-600.
When I first became aware of Drukair a few years ago its classic and colorful livery with a very 1990s look immediately caught my attention. I searched for a Drukair airplane model only to find out that there was not a single diecast offering in any scale. That was until Phoenix came to the rescue.
The classic livery comes from the Bhutanese flag. The Druk, or Thunder Dragon in Dzongkha (Bhutan's official language), is part of Tibetan and Bhutanese mythology and a national symbol of Bhutan. In the Bhutanese flag, a white Druk sits in the middle of an evenly split yellow and orange background. The yellow represents the Dragon King of Bhutan, who traditionally has used a scarf of that color, and the orange represents Buddhism. The colors of the flag happen to match those of some popular liveries of the 1980s and 1990s (Iberia's Landor and Southwest's Mustard Rocket come to mind). It is nice to see those tones used in a current livery. The tail art is essentially the flag of Bhutan. The fuselage titles borrow the orange from the flag and are depicted in a custom font with a classic look that incorporates what seem to be subtle elements inspired by the Tibetan script.
As far as I can tell, Phoenix did a wonderful job with the livery. Please enjoy:
Jorge A. Zajia