Private Bangladesh airline to fly to Kolkata

May 4th, 2008 - 6:05 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka, May 4 (IANS) United Airways, Bangladesh’s private airline, plans to begin its Dhaka-Kolkata flight from the first week of July, media reported Sunday. “We are hopeful about starting a flight on the Dhaka-Kolkata route from the first week of July this year. We will seek permission from Indian authorities this week,” said Jilanee F.R. Chowdhury, director-in-charge of marketing and sales of the airline.

It will be the fifth airline, after Biman Bangladesh Airlines, GMG Airlines, Air India and Jet Airways, to fly between Kolkata and Dhaka.

The carrier, a venture of non-resident Bangladeshis in Britain, is set to go beyond the border after flying for about a year on domestic routes.

United Airways unveiled the plan after the government allowed the carrier to operate flights to Kolkata, Kathmandu, Bahrain, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai, The Daily Star said.

“Some 200,000 passengers fly on the Dhaka-Kolkata route every year with 75 percent of them Bangladeshis. There is a very good prospect,” said Jilanee.

Industry people said pilgrims, patients, students and tourists mainly travel on the route and the number of passengers is growing by around 10 percent a year.

Starting operations in July last year, the carrier has purchased two 37-seater Dash 8-100 aircraft to grab the potential of Bangladesh’s aviation market that is growing by around 7.5 percent annually.

The airline has also planned to procure two wide-bodied aircraft in order to run competitively on the international routes.

Jilanee said the carrier will run daily flights to Kolkata. “But we want to operate two flights a day later on,” he said.

Ismail R. Chowdhury, vice president of GMG Airlines operating on the route for the last couple of years, observed that the entry of United Airways to the route will help boost the market.

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