Biman Bangladesh Airlines resumed Dhaka-Delhi-Dhaka direct flights Monday after nearly five years with three flights a week initially as India’s private Jet airways halted its flight operations between the two capitals recently.
The resumption flight landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport Monday afternoon while Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali received the arriving passengers through flowers at terminal-3 of the airport at 5.20pm (local time).
A spectacular water cannon salute was given to the aircraft when it landed at the airport with 150 passengers aboard. A cake was cut on the gate premises to mark the occasion.
The passengers including some in wheel chairs expressed their satisfaction after travelling by Biman’s Dhaka-Delhi direct flight saying that it would immensely reduce their sufferings which they had to face while travelling via Kolkata.
Earlier in Dhaka, State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism, M Mahbub Ali, inaugurated the flight before it took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 3:00pm.
Ali hoped that Biman would be able to make profit form Dhaka-Delhi direct flight as the national flag carrier is now the lone airline on this route.
He said the government is committed to turn the national flag carrier into a profitable venture through providing standard on time service to the passengers.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary M Mohibul Haque, Biman’s board of directors chairman Air Marshal (retd) Muhammad Enamul Bari and acting managing director and CEO Captain Farhat Hasan Jamil also spoke while Indian deputy high commissioner to Dhaka Bishwajit De were present on the occasion.
Biman suspended its direct flight operation on Dhaka-Delhi route in September, 2014 citing aircraft shortage in its fleet although the decision irked the Bangladeshi passengers as thousands of people from the country travel to India every year for medical, business and tourism purposes.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines has initially decided to operate three flights (Monday, Thursday and Saturday) in a week on its Dhaka-Delhi route by its 162-seat Boeing 737-800. According to the schedule, the Biman flight will depart Dhaka at 3.00pm and arrive in Delhi at 5.20pm and accordingly, it will depart from Delhi at 6.20pm and arrive in Dhaka at 9.20pm.
The round-trip fare in the route is approximately Taka 24,000 in Economic Class and Taka 65,000 in Business class. The ticket price of Biman is much lesser compared to Jet Airways, the only airways which operated Dhaka-Delhi Direct flights.
Jet Airways, the India’s Premier Aviation Company in private sector, has grounded all its 119 aircraft and suspended all domestic and international operations recently due to “fund shortage”.
There was no Dhaka-Delhi direct flight after the suspension of Jet Airways operations on all domestic and international routes. As a result, passengers have to take trouble during their travel to India. In absence of direct flight passengers have to travel on Dhaka-Delhi-Dhaka via Kolkata taking more time.
There are other airliners like Air India, Spice Jet and Indigo that operate their Dhaka-Delhi flights via Kolkata.