Biman Bangladesh Airlines on Friday night resumed its much-awaited direct Dhaka-Narita (Japan)-Dhaka flight after a 17-year gap to make the Bangladesh-Japan direct air connectivity a profitable route.
The inaugural flight took off from Dhaka around 11:45pm local time and will reach Narita International Airport in Japan on September 2 at 9:15am local time.
The flight, BG-377, from Narita to Dhaka will also take off on September 2.
Mohammad Tofazzal Hossain Miah, principal secretary to Prime Minister's Office joined the event organised marking the inaugural programme as guest of honor.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali along with other officials both from ministry, Biman and Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) officially inaugurated the maiden flight.
In addition to Bangladeshi citizens, there is a significant community of approximately 41,000 Indians and 1.40 lakh Nepalese nationals residing in Japan, all of whom have the opportunity to utilize Biman for their air travel needs to and from Japan, according to Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
Meanwhile, many Japanese companies have been extending their business in Bangladesh while numbers of Bangladeshi students are enrolled in different Japanese universities.
Managing Director and CEO of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Shafiul Azim said, “The Dhaka-Narita route holds great potential. A substantial number of passengers not only from our country but also from neighbouring countries will make it a potentially lucrative route for the airline.”
The flight schedule for the Dhaka-Narita route is slated for departures every Friday, Monday, and Wednesday at 11:45pm from Dhaka, and returns from Narita to Dhaka every Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 11:00am.
The local airlines started selling tickets for the Dhaka-Narita (Tokyo) direct flights from July 25. The minimum one-way fare on the route is Tk 70,828 and return ticket price is Tk 1,11,656 per passenger.
Biman offered a discount on the occasion of the inauguration of direct flights on the Dhaka-Narita route. The special discount was on till August 15. At the time, the minimum one-way fare on Dhaka-Narita route was Tk 49,100 and return tickets were Tk 84,496 per passenger.
According to Biman, the number of Bangladeshis living in Japan is not significant. Japanese nationals engaged in various development projects in Bangladesh are primarily expected to be passengers on the route.
A 24-hour call centre will be launched soon following the international system. Passengers will be able to get all the updated information on flights round the clock.
As part of the ‘Smart Bangladesh’ goal, automated baggage system will be introduced soon and not even 1kg of extra baggage will be allowed. The automated baggage system resumed from Friday.
Chairman of the board of directors of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Mostofa Kamal Uddin, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md Mokammel Hossain, and Civil Aviation Authority Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Maidur Rahman, among others, were present at the inauguration ceremony.