A process is underway to spread Biman’s wing to five more international routes including Manchester, Narita and New York by 2020, State Minister for Civil Aviation Mahbub Ali said today.
The two other destinations are Colombo and Male, the junior minister said while inaugurating Dhaka-Madina direct flight at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Madina is the second destination to Saudi Arabia after Jeddah, he said.
“Through inauguration of Dhaka-Medina flight, another step to increase Biman Bangladesh Airline’s network has been fulfilled today,” Mahbub Ali said.
He also added that the ministry and other respective organisations are working to start Biman’s flight to Manchester, Narita, New York, Colombo and Male by 2020.
With spreading its wing to Madina, international destinations of the national airliner have increased to 16, Biman sources said.
The state minister said the government has taken decision to establish direct air connectivity to Madina as the second destination to Saudi Arbia as the number of pilgrims to perform Umrah is getting higher every year.
Besides, he said the new route will also benefit large numbers of Bangladeshi expatriate workforce who are residing in Saudi Arabia.
Civil Aviation Ministry secretary Mohibul Haque in the programme said there is no reason for Biman to move backward at present with its present number of fleet.
He also said Biman will have to grab the aviation market in Middle East as there is huge potential there.
Biman Board Chairman Air Vice Marshal (retd) Muhammad Enamul Bari, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, Biman managing director and CEO Mokabbir Hossain, among others, also spoke at the programme.
The national flag carrier will operate flights on Dhaka-Madina-Dhaka route for three days in a week -- Monday, Wednesday and Saturday-- and one on Chattagram-Madina-Chattagram route on every Thursday.
Biman deployed its newly purchased Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with a capacity of 271 seats, including 24 business and 247 economic class to operate the flights on Madina sector.