State-owned Bangladesh Biman is launching direct passenger flights on the Chittagong-Sharjah route. The first flight will depart from Chittagong Shah Amanat International Airport to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates on Wednesday (April 20). This is the first time that Bangladesh Biman has been operating flights from Chittagong to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for so long.
Bangladesh Biman is launching flights on Sharjah route at a time when foreign airline Air Arabia operates 14 daily morning-afternoon flights. As a result, Bangladesh Biman will be the main competition with Air Arabia. Passengers hope that air fares on Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah routes will be further reduced.
AKM Omar Farooq, Assistant Manager, Bangladesh Biman Chittagong Airport, said this is the first initiative to operate a flight from Chittagong to Sharjah. From April 20, four days a week, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday at 10:15 pm will leave Chittagong Airport. However, he will return to Chittagong directly from Sharjah in two days and will return to Dhaka in two days.
He said Biman has been operating direct flights from Chittagong to Abu Dhabi twice a week and three times a week on the Chittagong-Dubai route. All flights are operated by luxury Boeing ৭৮৭ Dreamliner and Boeing aircraft. The Sharjah route will be operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
It is learned that Sharjah-based airline Air Arabia operates seven flights a week from Chittagong to Abu Dhabi and 14 flights a week on the Chittagong-Sharjah route. And the Dubai-based airline ‘Fly Dubai’ is operating 14 flights a week on the Chittagong-Dubai route. And Bangladesh Biman is operating a total of 9 flights on Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah routes. In all, the number of flights from Chittagong to UAE is 44.
Bangladesh Biman’s own website shows the total fare to and from Chittagong-Sharjah on April 27 is Tk 8,606. And on Air Arabia’s own website, the fare for the same route has been shown as Tk 81,156. However, although the fare of Bangladesh Biman is higher than that of Air Arabia flight, the facilities are more in Biman.
Shah Alam, managing director of Gulf Travel Agency, said the airline was silent when foreign airlines were charging exorbitant fares. After the foreign airlines have finished eating ‘cream’, now the aircraft is operating at the last minute. A lot of passengers on visit visas have already left for the UAE. Now the passenger pressure is not like that. He said that after that Bangladesh will get air passengers because their aircraft has more big luggage facilities and food.