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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fly Your Own Airways

Bangladesh's second private passenger airline will begin domestic operations next month in a fast growing market boosted by the scrapping of flights by the state-run airline (Biman).
United Airways will start flying to southeastern Chittagong and northeastern Sylhet from the capital Dhaka in the third week of June, company director Ferdous Alam said.
The company, owned by expatriate Bangladeshis living in Britain, had bought a Dash-8 aircraft and would add another Dash-8 in late June followed by two more Fokker 100 by August, he added. "We will initailly fly to domestic destinations. But our main target is to fly to southern cities of China and the Gulf. Bangladeshi air traffic to these destinations has increased tremendously recently," he added. China pipped India as Bangladesh's main import destination in 2005 while nearly three million Bangladeshis now work and live in the Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. United Airways will be the second Bangladeshi private passenger airline. Presently GMG is the sole private operator, which flies to domestic and regional destinations in south Asia. In March, a Kuwait-based Aqeeq Aviation Holding bought a 70 per cent stake in the leading air-cargo operator Best Aviation to launch a passenger airline by July this year. Alam said the market was attractive to private operators since the scrapping of a number of flights by the state-run Biman Bangladesh Airlines. State airline, Bangladesh Biman Airlines, dominates domestic routes with a 54 percent market shares followed by GMG, with the remaining 46 percent share. All set for a happening aviation sector it seems. With more money in middle class's pocket, they will be willing to fly, throwing heads on competition to GMG and bus operators. All we need is service with a smile, punctuality and safety, areas where Biman has done a great 'Beimani'.


Shameem Hasan said...

Its a good news for bangladeshi's that we are going to have several new airlines in our sky.
But before becoming very hopeful we should also consider This ----

# There are 900 airlines worldwide now.
# Globally 22,000 aircraft serving 1,670 airports now.
# Airlines business also one of the least profitable business in the world. Recently (according to IATA) its return on investment was only .5 % that means every 100 taka you invest, you will get return only 50 paisa at this moment.
# Out of 900 airlines, how many of them are making money ? Mostly are loosers, except very view. Did GMG disclosed their financial performance recently ?
# You need really deep pockets to stay in the business, consider recent demise of big names like SABENA,SWISSAIR and sold out of KLM to AIRFRANCE(Another looser) and in home AEROBENGAL and AIRPARABAT.

Yes its forecasted by most of the major aviation association and firms that - in near future there will be only few "MEGA CARRIERS" and other will be stay in the business as merely "feeder carrier".

Much can be said about Biman. It was always run by few retired personnel from forces not by the professionals in the Board. 90 % of Bangladeshi passengers are labourers who don't even know how to use the aircraft toilete and most of them are firsttime flyer. Biman,With their 30 years old aircraft and excessive governmental control, what better they can do ? Coonsider Biman had to subsiize more than 200 USD per Hajjis its flew last year. Biman carries vegetable cargos for loss, dead bodies for free. WE hope our United will do that for the nation.

Airlines not only have business aspects, there are essential services aspects as well. Services to the nation, to the community as whole.
Demise of Biman will affect us all and specially our future generations.

Banglar Akash said...

Thanks to Shameem for the interesting numbers and facts. His comments should really compel the management of GMG and United to have a longer vision for future. His concerns are genuine and echo mine too. However I wonder if you are aware that amidst all this launching of new airlines, another private liner called 'Best Aviation' with some links with a Kuwait based Aqeeq Holdings is in the pipeline too. I hope they don't create chaos in the sky and in ground in the name of service.