Biman Bangladesh Airlines is working to expand its international routes to enhance air connectivity for Bangladeshi passengers, Managing Director and CEO of the national flag carrier, Shafiul Azim, has said.
“We have taken initiatives to operate flights on some important routes across the globe including to New York, Chennai, Bengaluru, Los Angeles, Rome, Male, and Guangzhou.”
The Biman CEO shared the information during an exclusive interview with UNB.
“Gradually we will be able to start flights on these routes. We are evaluating and working on how to start flights on each of these routes within the shortest possible time.”
Biman currently operates regular flights to 19 destinations around the world. “We have a fleet of 21 aircraft including Dreamliners. Ten new aircraft are being purchased from Airbus,” Shafiul added.
New aircraft from Airbus will facilitate the expansion of routes and will open up new directions in coordination with other countries, the Biman CEO hoped.
With the addition of the new aircraft, the number of flights on popular routes can also be increased, which would in turn create a more competitive market and help in reducing ticket prices.
The Biman CEO said, “We are working on expanding our network not only in Asia but also in western countries, especially in Europe.”
Besides, Biman has already done everything to launch direct flights from Dhaka to New York, he said.
He further said some formal work is going on with Civil Aviation, Federal Aviation Authority and the Department of Transport.
If everything goes well, all activities regarding flight operations on the new routes, including New York, are scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.
He said Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Gulf Air have recently started a partnership – set to revolutionise travel between Bangladesh and the Gulf region.
As a result, passengers can travel from Dhaka to Bahrain and Bahrain to Dhaka with onward connection to Chattogram and Sylhet via both airlines (Biman and Gulf Air).
In addition, it will benefit both airlines through enhanced operational efficiency and shared expertise in the aviation industry, he added.
Shafiul said, “We are starting flights to Narita (Tokyo), Japan from September 1. Chennai is also being considered as a destination. Apart from this, we are going to resume flights to Guangzhou in China by the middle of September.
“Besides, we are trying to establish communication and code sharing with other countries through Narita in Japan.”
Regarding the launch of flights to Japan, he said Bangladesh has very good bilateral relations with Japan, and they have investments here.
“We are launching a direct Dhaka-Narita (Tokyo) flight from September 1, 2023, and it is a major achievement for us,” the Biman CEO said.
“Bangladeshi students are going to study in Japan and Japanese businessmen are coming here. Besides, many people travel to Japan from neighbouring countries. We have a good air network with the West compared to the East. Through Dhaka-Narita (Tokyo) direct flights, a new horizon will open.”
Besides, Biman will take the initiative for improvement of the Bangladesh-Japan tourism sector.
At the same time, “we are moving forward with marketing strategies so that passengers from neighbouring countries can travel to and from Japan via Dhaka,” he said.