Bangladesh carrier to expand in India

February 18th, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, Feb 18 (IANS) Bangladesh-based GMG Airlines is working on an aggressive expansion plan in India by introducing flights between Dhaka and Mumbai, Chennai and Guwahati. “We aim to start flying to Guwahati from May and services to Mumbai and Chennai will be operational by July and December,” Shahab Sattar, managing director of GMG Airlines, told IANS.

“The airline is also going to operate daily flights on the Delhi-Dhaka route starting April 2008. If everything goes as per plan, we may also fly to Jaipur to tap the growing inflow of Bangladesh-based religious tourists to Ajmer.”

At present, the airline operates four flights a week on the Delhi-Dhaka route and three flights a week on the Chittagong-Kolkata route.

It operates a 150-seater aircraft on the Delhi-Dhaka route, and plans to operate the same aircraft on the Mumbai and Chennai routes. For the Guwahati-Dhaka route, the airline will opt for a turboprop aircraft.

“We will replace our present fleet with Boeing 737 by early 2009 and operate the aircraft on the Indian routes as well as our domestic and other international routes.”

GMG Airlines, a part of the GMG Group, made its entry in the Indian market with its flight connecting Kolkata and Chittagong in 2004.

Currently, it registers a load factor of 65 percent on Indian routes. In terms of market share, the airline says it has 24 percent market share in the Kolkata aviation market.

“Besides, we have a code share agreement with Air India, which augments our market share to 40 percent in the region.”

Apart from the expansion plans, the airline is looking at providing feeder services to airlines in India.

“Considering that most airlines in India are now focusing on international operations, we aim to provide feeder services to those airlines from Bangladesh.”

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