DHAKA- The Biman Bangladesh Airlines today decided to operate two Dhaka-Cox's Bazar flights with its wide-bodied aircraft weekly taking opportunity of extension and widen of runway of the country's premier tourist destination airport.
"Initially, we thought to operate one weekly flight with wide-bodied aircraft but today we decided to operate two weekly flights from May 18 on every Thursday and Saturday by 162-seater Boeing 737-800 considering huge passengers' demand on that route," Biman's General Manager (GM), Public Relation, Shakil Meraj told BSS today.
Presently, the national flag carrier is operating one daily Dhaka-Cox's Bazar-Dhaka flight with its 74-seater Dash Q-400 aircraft.
"The wide-body Boeing will offer business class apart from its economy to tourists for the first time," he said, adding that the lowest fair for one- way business class will be Taka 9,000 and Taka 4,000 for economy class.
"We will increase operation of the wide-bodied aircraft gradually specially in winter during the tourist season," Meraj said.
The British-era Cox's Bazar airport is being used domestically. Only small aircraft, with less than 76-seat, uses the airport until now. But the government has been working to upgrade the airport to an international one to make the Cox's Bazar as an international single tourist designation.
As part of the "Cox's Bazar Airport Development Project", Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB) official said runway of the airport was extended to 9,000 from 6,775 feet and widened to 200 from 150 feet that allows the wide-bodied aircraft to use the airport.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally launched the operation of the wide- bodied aircraft on the expanded runway of the aviation facility by on boarding Biman's Boeing 737-800 "Meghdoot" on Saturday last.
The CAAB sources said the 80 percent work of upgrading the Cox's Bazar airport to international standard has already been completed and they are expecting to complete the task by next year.
Apart from the national flag carrier, presently the private US-Bangla Airlines and Novo-Air operate two flights daily while Regent Air operates one flight daily.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)