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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Friday, January 8, 2010

More flights to UK

Bangladesh and the UK have decided to permit airlines of both countries to operate 31 flights a week, up from 10 flights previously.

Bangladeshi carriers such as Biman, United Airways and GMG will be able to operate 17 flights to London and 14 flights to other destinations in the UK.

Airlines in the UK will also enjoy the same facility, with 17 flights weekly to Dhaka and 14 to other international airports in Bangladesh, said officials at a press conference at Zia International Airport yesterday.

"It is an achievement for us, said Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Shafique Alam Mehdi.

Mehdi made the disclosure after a meeting on air services agreement between Bangladesh-UK among representatives of the civil aviation authorities of both countries ended here yesterday. An agreement was signed following the meeting.

Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Air Commodore Sakeb Iqbal Khan Majlis and CAAB Director (Flight Safety and Regulation) Wing Commander M Kamrul Islam were present.

Mehdi said a direct air-link between Sylhet and London could be established, as Osmani International Airport in Sylhet has been included in the route schedule of air services agreement between Bangladesh and the UK.

Currently, no UK airlines run flights to Bangladesh. British Airways pulled out of Bangladesh in March 2009.

Mehdi expects the airline will resume operations in future.

He said this move gives Biman a chance to resume its Dhaka-New York flights via Manchester. "Biman will be able to operate three flights a week from Dhaka to New York through Manchester."

The revision in the air services agreement also widened scope for Bangladeshi airlines to operate more flights via different destinations in the Gulf by exercising the fifth freedom rights.

The fifth freedom right allows an airline to carry passengers from one's own country to a second country, and from that country to a third country.

UK airlines will have scope to operate flights between Bangladesh and the UK, via India.

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We welcome this decision to increase flights to and from UK and Bangladesh.

It will boost trade and tourism and consequent boost in passenger numbers will lead to lower operating cost and hopefully lower air fares.

Indeed it will help airlines and passengers if CAAB was to reduce landing and handling costs at all Bangladesh Airports.

And lastly I would ask the Bangladesh Government to let British citizens to travel to Bangladesh visa free and it can still maintain some sort of security screening by asking all passengers to register with Bangladesh Mission in London on line before buying their tickets like it is the case with the US Embassy.

: Manzoor Ashraf

Why should Bangladesh allow British citizen's visa free travel. They require Bangladeshi's to get a visa even for transit purposes. A visa is required even if you do not get of the plane! We should grant visas, but force British passport holders to apply for them. Eligible individuals can always get a NVR stamp to bypass this requirement.

: Rafat Sadiq





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