BD aviation market booming due to repatriation of stranded passengers

_A Monitor Report 01 Oct, 2020 | 948 Views|-+
Dhaka : The movement in air travel, due to the repatriation of stranded passengers, has resulted in a boom in the aviation market of Bangladesh. Thus, we are witnessing new airlines coming in and old ones gradually increasing their frequencies in this post pandemic era.

This was revealed at a meeting, arranged virtually on September 30 by the premier travel trade publication The Bangladesh Monitor to announce the results of the air travellers' survey, it conducted recently. The meeting was attended by the representatives from both local and international airlines, travel trade industries, as well as media.

The Bangladesh aviation market is doing better than other markets in the world, said Mohijur Rahman Javed, Sales Manager, Emirates Bangladesh. "Mainly due to repatriation of stranded passengers." As soon as the travel restrictions in other countries are lifted, there will be more movement, he added. This will lead to a good pressure in the winter schedule.

Qazi Zahirul Qyyum, Director, Expolanka Group, which represents various airlines, including Etihad Airways, agreed and claimed this repatriation market of stranded passengers destined to Gulf and Middle East countries will be available for two-three months more. Therefore, Etihad Airways, which resumes operations to Dhaka soon, will be increasing flight frequencies to accommodate them gradually.

This has led to new carriers coming into the market such as Jazeera Airways and Air Arabia Abu Dhabi which are to start flight operations to Dhaka in October, he added.

M Masudur Rahman, Sales Manager, Malaysian Airlines also mentioned that Europe and Middle East have good passenger traffic right now, compared to Asia due to travel restrictions in place. "But we're still hopeful," he added.

Since Singapore eased its travel restrictions, Singapore Airlines will also be resuming flight services to and from Dhaka, effective October 20, initially with twice a week flight, informed Rifat Kader, Sales Manager, Singapore Airlines.

Daraz Mahmud from Travelport claimed that Bangladesh had the highest air travel movement in APAC. To boost international flow further, he suggested the airlines and tour operators promote travel to destinations like Turkey, Egypt, and Dubai which have their borders open for foreign visitors.

On the other hand, the domestic market is witnessing tremendous growth in air traffic after the pandemic. Mesbah-ul Alam, Head of Sales and Marketing, NOVOAIR mentioned the carrier is operating 21 flights now daily, which includes five daily to Cox's Bazar. They will be adding two more in October.

Since CAAB lifted the seat limitation policy, the occupancy level in the domestic sector has returned to almost normal.

In terms of destinations, Cox's Bazar is having an encouraging passenger turnout, Mesbah said, adding, "Now we are promoting travel to Sylhet and Chattogram too with attractive holiday packages."

Commenting on the survey conducted by The Bangladesh Monitor, Shahab from Salam Air stressed that it will surely help the airlines to strategise in the post COVID-19 scenario. "It will come handy for developing confidence in the market which is essential right now," he added. In October, Salam Air will also be resuming two weekly flight services to Chattogram, in addition to Dhaka.

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