12 International Airlines have expressed interest in connecting with Bangladesh via air. Among them, some airlines officially applied for permission to conduct flights to Bangladesh, while others only verbally expressed their desire to do so.
However, according to sources, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) will not allow any new airlines to operate flights for the time being due to space constraints.
According to further information from CAAB, at least 12 airlines from different countries from around the world have contacted CAAB about conducting flights to Bangladesh. The airlines that have recently applied for permission to conduct flights to Bangladesh include Sri Lanka’s Fitz Air, South Korea’s Korean Air, Abu Dhabi-based Wizz Air, Indonesia’s Garuda Indonesia, Iraq’s Iraqi Airways, Jordan’s Royal Jordanian, Ethiopian Airlines, Air France and UK’s British Airways.
After applying in 2022, Ethiopian Airlines, an Africa-based airlines group, recently received permission to conduct flights in Bangladesh. The airline wants to transit Bangladeshi passengers living in various African countries in Ethiopia for a short time while travelling from Dhaka to that country. Currently, Middle East-based airlines are carrying passengers on this route.
In a press release, CAAB said that among the airlines that applied, Wizz Air “cannot be allowed” to operate flights for now. Wizz Air had hoped to operate flights on the Dubai route from Chittagong’s Shah Amanat International Airport. However, they will be allowed to operate flights once the capacity of the airport increases.
Finally, Fits Air has sought permission to operate 3 flights per week on the Dhaka-Colombo route. However, due to a lack of space to keep apron aircraft, they are not allowed for now.
Other than these, 4 airlines have expressed their intentions to conduct flights in Bangladesh, these are, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) of Pakistan, Uzbekistan Airways of Uzbekistan, Swiss International Airlines of Switzerland and Riyadh Air of Saudi Arabia.
Among them, PIA notified the CAAB of their intentions in 2022 and CAAB reportedly advised them to contact the Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh for their application. The remaining 3 expressed their interest to the Ministry of External Affairs and the Minister through their ambassadors posted in Bangladesh.
Currently, 28 international airlines are operating flights in Bangladesh. CAAB said that when the construction of the third terminal is completed, there will be an apron to hold a total of 37 planes, and one by one everyone will get permission.
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