US-Bangla Airlines, country’s largest private airlines in terms of fleet size, today spread its wings to another South Asian destination Maldivian capital Male that will refrain Bangladesh from losing one million US dollar monthly as foreign exchange.
“From today, as a local carrier we’ll operate direct flight to Male carrying passengers and cargo and it helps Bangladesh to keep nearly one million US dollar monthly inside the country that used to be taken by the foreign carrier,” said the US-Bangla Managing Director Mohammed Al Abdullah Manum at the inaugural ceremony of the flight at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) here.
The US-Bangladesh airlines started direct Dhaka-Male flight as the first ever any Bangladesh carrier while Maldivian airlines has been operating flight on the route since several years.
Initially, the Us-Bangla airlines will operate three weekly flights on Dhaka-Male-Dhaka on every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday as its 10th international route with a 164-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft to fulfill the long-standing expectations of Bangladeshi tourists and expatriate Bangladeshis living in Maldives.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mahbub Ali inaugurated the flight at the Domestic Terminal Building of HSIA as the chief guest while Maldivian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Shiruzimath Sameer was present as special guest.
Mahbub Ali said apart from facilitating travel of expatriate Bangladeshis, the new direct flight between Bangladesh and Maldives will give a boost to tourism sectors of both the countries.
Under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the country’s aviation sector is expected to grow three folds in next 15 years while two more news private carrier are set to start operation soon with currently operative three airlines– State owned Biman Bangladesh Airlines and private owned US-Bangla airlines and Novoair, the state minister added.
The minimum fare on the Dhaka-Male route, including all taxes and surcharges, has been fixed at Taka 29,508 for one-way and Taka 45,545 for return.
US-Bangla Airlines Managing Director said their carrier is offering much cheap fare for Male compare to other foreign airlines while they have plan to launch flight to Sri Lanka in next month.
Currently, the US-Bangla Airlines fleet consists of a total of 14 aircrafts, including four Boeing 737-800s and seven brand new ATR 72-600s while the carrier is schedule to procure two more Boeing 737-800 within few days.
US-Bangla Airlines operates flights to Dubai, Muscat and Doha, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore inhabited by expatriate Bangladeshis, Chennai and Kolkata in neighboring India and Guangzhou, one of the destinations in China and due to the Corona epidemic, flights to Bangkok have been temporarily suspended.