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Biman Anticipates Reaching Vancouver & LA by January

Biman Anticipates Reaching Vancouver & LA by January

By January 2024, Biman Bangladesh Airlines plans to use code sharing with Air Canada to fly passengers to US’s LA, California, and Vancouver, a significant city on Canada’s west coast, via Narita, Japan.

Shafiul Azim, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)  of Biman, told a news outlet, “We have already received a positive reply from Air Canada regarding code sharing agreement … and we are expecting to make it effective by the third week of January.”

Code sharing is a marketing strategy whereby one airline sells tickets for a flight operated by another airline and places its designator code on that flight.

Following the code-sharing arrangement, a traveller headed for Canada or the US would board Biman’s aircraft to reach Narita for a stopover. After that, the passenger could continue on to Vancouver or Los Angeles via Air Canada using a single ticket, boarding passes, and baggage tags provided by Biman Bangladesh Airlines.

Since many Bangladeshi expats live in Vancouver and LA, the CEO of Biman anticipated that code sharing would help the national flag carrier attract a lot of traffic to its Narita trip from among the travellers intending to travel to Canada or the US.

The passengers could save nearly five hours by taking advantage of the 15 hours of total flight time, including Biman’s six-hour Narita route and around 9 hours flight to reach Vancouver or Los Angeles from Narita.

Currently, North American west coast-bound passengers from Dhaka use Singapore or Malaysian airlines with layovers in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur to reach Vancouver or Los Angeles. This takes a total of approximately 20 hours. 

A huge community of Bangladeshi expatriates living in Canada has already made Biman’s Dhaka-Toronto-Dhaka flights very popular, but the national flag carrier is yet to have any option to offer for Canadian or US West Coast travellers.

“Keep it in mind, we would like to offer more route connections to our passengers as like as other airlines throughout the world continue to form code-share arrangements to expand their market presence and competitive ability,” Azam said.

The chief of Biman hopes that the code-sharing arrangement with Air Canada would increase the popularity of the airline’s Dhaka-Narita flight among Bangladeshi expatriates, which restarted in September after a 17-year hiatus.

“We have already received positive response on our Dhaka-Narita route … so far we are satisfied with the load factor of the route,” Azam said.

Apart from Bangladeshi and Japanese passengers, a large number of Nepalese nationals and a number of Indian citizens are also using Biman’s three weekly Dhaka-Narita-Dhaka flights.

Mohammed Salahuddin, the Director of Marketing and Sales at Biman, said, “We have started Dhaka-Narita-Dhaka flight with 50% passenger load factor … but, currently we are having nearly 80% load factor in both ends.”

He hoped that the Dhaka-Narita-Dhaka flight’s load factor would be nearly 100% after code sharing with Air Canada.

In comparison to the airlines that are now running flights to Vancouver and LA, according to Salauddin, Biman can provide lower costs to travellers travelling to the US and Canada’s west coast.

Under the Air Service Agreement between Bangladesh and Japan, Tokyo allowed Biman Bangladesh Airlines to enjoy a fifth freedom facility which allows an airline the right to carry passengers from its own country to a second country and from that country onward to a third country and so on.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has been engaged with the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) for a long time to upgrade Bangladesh’s status to “Category 1” so that the local carriers, including Biman Bangladesh Airlines, can operate their own flights to different destinations in the US.

For more travel-related news about Bangladesh, follow Fly to BD.

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Written by Nadia Farha Mubin

Content Writer and Travel Enthusiast


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