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Local private carrier United Airways (BD) will open flights to Muscat in January, targeting mainly Bangladeshi migrant workers in Oman.

The airline plans to start flying to the Arab state in the third week of the next month, it said in a statement yesterday.

“We have obtained permission from Muscat Civil Aviation Authority to operate on the route with our own Airbus-310 having 250 seats,” said Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury, chairman and managing director of United Airways.

The nine-fleet carrier, which now operates on five international destinations, including Jeddah and Dubai, will fly on the Dhaka-Muscat route four days a week.

The airline inducted one A-310 in its fleet yesterday.

“The Gulf is the most important market for Bangladeshi airlines as one in two people who fly abroad goes to the six Gulf countries which employ more than 60 percent of the county's over five million migrant workers," Choudhury said.

United is one of the four local airlines that launched operations in 2007 to get a share of the pie of the migrant worker-dominated aviation market in Bangladesh.

"Bangladesh's air traffic grew nearly 7 percent last year, making it one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the region,” said the United Airways chief.

The airline, a listed company, also seeks to start flights to Riyadh and Dammam.

On the last trading day Thursday, United closed 1.67 percent higher at Tk 24.30 on Dhaka Stock Exchange.

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GMG is about to collapse since Sanjiv Kapoor has joined the airline sidelining Shahab Sattar. Anyone with little knowledge of aviation business should not fail to understand that airline business has future in this country. None of the private airline is flourishing their business because they were somehow thinking short term. 82% of our domestic passengers skived away by foreign carriers; Bangladesh is the only market in earth where foreign carriers enjoy such freedom of doing business at the cost of our national interest, giving Biman no safety net whatsoever. Time has come for someone to think big. Knowing it too well that Biman being the national airline of the state and subsequently turned it into a PLC with all the good motives, it has no chance to survive in int'l market due to huge amount of corruption scheme by a group of business houses who operates united as syndicate.

: Sheikh Monirul Islam, Opee





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