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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sunday, November 7, 2010
Business

Regent Airways hits skies

Mashruf Habib, second from left, managing director of Regent Airways, and Imran Asif, third from left, chief executive, pose at the launch of the airline at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka yesterday.Photo: STAR

Regent Airways, a venture of Chittagong-based conglomerate Habib Group, has made a foray into the aviation sector. Its maiden flights will take off Wednesday.

The company plans to become the 'most preferred' and 'safest' local airline.

Regent's maiden flight will connect Dhaka with Chittagong, the country's commercial capital and busiest route for domestic air travel. Its next destinations are Cox's Bazar, Jessore and Sylhet.

"We want to become Bangladesh's most admired airline," Mashruf Habib, managing director of Regent Airways, told a press conference at the domestic lounge of Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka yesterday.

"We'll provide a total in-flight experience that will be far better than our competitors," he claimed. "You'll come back after travelling once because we'll provide services that any other airline is yet to offer."

Habib Group that operates in textile, cement and shipbreaking has entered the aviation market at a time when three local carriers -- state-owned Biman, private GMG and United Airways -- are competing with over 15 foreign carriers to secure an increased pie of Bangladesh's travel market. More than 15 foreign airlines carry about 60 percent of over 35 lakh travellers to and from Bangladesh.

Regent officials said the airline would use two 50-seater turbo-prop Dash8-Q300 aircraft for flying on the Dhaka-Chittagong route five times a day.

It also plans to fly twice to Jessore and once a day to Cox's Bazar and Sylhet. However, the new airline awaits the green light from the Civil Aviation Authority to spread its wings on international routes.

The carrier will charge fares, depending on various classes, between Tk 3,800 and Tk 5,800 for one-way trip to Chittagong.

For Dhaka-Cox's Bazar, the total one-way fare will be Tk 5,000-7,000. Fares for one-way ticket to Jessore and Sylhet will be Tk 2,500-4,000 and Tk 3,500-5,000 respectively.

Imran Asif, the chief executive, said: "We want to become an airline for which Bangladesh can feel pride."

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I see some hope as the base for aviation activities are increasing. It's a good sign that there are vibrant economic activities existing at current in our local economy. But do we have the required experienced people who are able to understand the aviation business? This is not at all buying or financing an aircraft and operates few routes hiring some flight and cabin crew from existing market; it is just more than that.

It is also equally important that we are observing that reasonable size business houses are coming into this aviation activities; I hope it is not at all about name & fame? Being group of companies has advantages too, I heard. They make one of their business unit or portfolio loss-making which is done deliberately with an ultimate motive of tax evading. Most of these companies take large amount of loan too, which is another catch.

However, congratulations to Regent Airways for their debut; Welcome to aviation market.

: OpeeMonir

 

 


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