Overview of Bangladesh Aviation Industry

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Overview of Bangladesh aviation industry

In Bangladesh, the aviation or airlines industry is a booming one. Because of the increasing impact of globalization export and import activities is getting huge day by day in Bangladesh. Moreover Bangladesh has increased its diplomatic and political activities in order to build stronger rapport with other countries of the world. Additionally, the number of Bangladeshi students going abroad for studies is larger than ever. As a result, everyday a huge number of cargo and passenger is getting in and out of the country through aircrafts. Furthermore, the number of domestic flights for transporting passenger and cargo is also on a rise. Due to this growing demand for air transport the Government is planning to enhance the size of all three international airports [Shahjalal International Airport (Zia Int'l), Shah Amanat International Airport (Chittagong), and Osmani International Airport (Sylhet)] of the country. Moreover, the Govt. is planning to build the fourth international airport (location has not been fixed yet) very soon.

The entire Bangladeshi airlines industry worth about 30,000 crore BDT, 70-80% of which is contributed by foreign airlines. There are eight indigenous private airlines and one national carrier (Biman Bangladesh Airlines) in Bangladesh. And there are almost 48 foreign airlines currently operating in this country.

History of aviation in Bangladesh

First flight

The first recorded manned flight was arranged by the Dhaka Nawab Family in 1882, which resulted in the death of the flyer. Jeanette Van Tassel, a young balloonist from the United States, was hired by the then incumbent Nawab Khwaja Ahsanullah. She was a member of a family troupe of professional balloonists and arrived with her mother, Jenny Rumary Van Tassel. At 6.20pm on the 16th March 1892, she set off to fly from the southern bank of the River Buriganga to the roof of Ahsan Manzil, lying across the river. But a gusting wind carried her off to the gardens of Shahbag, where her balloon became stuck in a tree. She was killed in her fall to the ground, and lies interred in the Christian graveyard at Narinda, Dhaka.

The Beginning

Modern aviation in Bangladesh began when the British Raj built a military airstrip in Tejgaon during World War II to fly warplanes towards the battle fields of Kohima and war theaters in Burma. Other airstrips were built in Comilla, Feni, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Chakaria, Sylhet, Jessore, Rajshahi and Lalmonirhat.

Civil aviation

When the world war was over, the colonial government decided to build the Tejgaon Airport along with a landing strip at Kurmitola to meet the needs of a Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) station in Dhaka. In 1946, the Mirza Ahmad Ispahani and his partners formed an airline - Orient Airways - which soon started using the airport as a civil airport. Orient Airways shifted its base from Kolkata to Karachi when Pakistan was born. On March 11, 1955, Orient Airways merged with the government's proposed airline, becoming Pakistan International Airlines Corporation, later rechristened as Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). In the 1971 war, PIA aided the Pakistan Army by transporting soldiers to East Pakistan in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and lost a couple of its aircraft to Indian Air Force fighters. Between 10 and 13 March, immediately before the war started, Pakistan International Airlines cancelled all their international routes to urgently fly "Government Passengers" to Dhaka. These "Government Passengers" were almost all Pakistani soldiers in civilian dress.


The first civil flight of independent Bangladesh operated from Dhaka Airport on 1 January 1972 The first international flight from Independent Bangladesh destined to Calcutta was flown on 10 January 1972 at 1500 hrs. Gradually there was the launch of our national airlines in the year 1972. And during the late 90’s there was the emergence of privet...
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