The national flag carrier of Bangladesh is set to return to Manchester Airport, with a new service to Sylhet and Dhaka scheduled to start in the New Year, it was announced today (October 7). Biman Bangladesh Airlines will fly three times a week from the UK’s northern hub to the Bangladeshi capital and Sylhet, one of the world’s biggest cities.
The news was announced at a special event at the British High Commission in Dhaka, attended by the Biman Bangladesh’s Chairman and Board of Directors, Manchester airport CEO Andrew Cowan and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who is leading a 10 day-long delegation to Bangladesh and India. The announcement marks a return to Manchester for Biman, which operated a Dhaka-Manchester-New York service until 2012.
Biman will use a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route, which will start on January 4, and will operate via the eastern Bangladeshi city of Sylhet on its return from Manchester.
It is a boost to the many Bangladeshi communities within Manchester Airport’s catchment, as well as being tipped to deliver wide ranging trade and tourism benefits. There are more than 55,000 people a year who currently travel from Manchester Airport’s catchment to Dhaka and Syhlet, with around 600,000 people travelling to destinations in Biman’s onward network.
Speaking from Dhaka, Mr Cowan said: “We have known for some time there is significant demand for a direct service to Bangladesh and so we are delighted to be confirming this news today. Manchester Airport is the UK’s gateway to the north of England and within our catchment area there are many long-standing Bangladeshi communities for whom this will make a massive difference. We know there are many northern companies with a desire to trade in Bangladesh, while we also look forward to welcoming business and leisure visitors from that part of the world.”
Speaking from the UK High Commissioner’s Residence in Dhaka, Andy Burnham said: “It is a great boost for this inaugural Greater Manchester visit to Bangladesh to achieve this new service. A direct connection between Manchester and Bangladesh will bring many trade, cultural and educational benefits and as well as being hugely valued by the many families of Bangladesh heritage living in Greater Manchester and across the North. I intend to keep building Greater Manchester’s relationship with Bangladesh over the coming years so our friends from Biman can rest assured we will do all we can to promote and support this vital route.”
The flight will operate on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday taking just 10 hours. The 787 Dreamliner will have 24 seats in business class and 247 in economy.