Vol. 5 Num 1106 Wed. July 11, 2007  

United Airways starts journey
Two fights daily on two routes

United Airways (Bangladesh) Ltd, a private sector airline founded by non-resident Bangladeshis, went into operation of its domestic passenger flights yesterday.

On the first day, two flights on Dhaka-Sylhet-Dhaka and Dhaka-Chittagong-Dhaka routes were operated with a Canadian made 37-seat Dash-8, which was bought without any bank loan.

The airline will initially run two passenger flights every day on both the routes. "We will go for three passenger flights every day on the routes in a very short time," Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury, chairman and managing director of United Airways, told journalists at the airline's Sylhet office.

Another Dash-8 aircraft will arrive in Dhaka next month, while two jet aircraft will be added to the fleet by the year-end, he said, adding that they eye international flight operations early next year.

The non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs), mainly from the UK, have teamed up through forming a public limited company to create an airline in Bangladesh. "Presently, there are more than 600 shareholders in the company and the number is increasing everyday," Choudhury said.

The United will manage a Tk 2,000 crore fund in the next five years to invest it the aviation industry, he said.

The aviation market in the country shows around 8 percent growth per annum, he said, adding 'the market is in need of new airline."

The United Airways is optimistic about being the market leader in domestic operations by the next couple of years.

"Our aim is to provide better customer services with timely departure and safe air travel," the airline chief said.

Earlier, Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury formally inaugurated the flight at Zia International Airport in Dhaka.

Focusing on some salient features of Dash-8, Manzurul Haque, chief pilot of the United Airways, said among the medium sized aircraft, Dash-8 is a new generation aircraft being used across the globe, including USA and EU.