Best Air focus on Lankan potential
Sri Lanka has tremendous business potential and this was the reason
for Best Air Bangladesh to launch direct flights to Colombo said
Chairman Best Aviation Ltd., M. Haider Uzzaman last evening in Colombo.
In an Exclusive interview with ‘Daily News Business’ he said that
they are looking at more opportunities in Sri Lanka especially in the
agriculture, infrastructure and aviation sectors. “Both countries have
common synergies and we want to exploit them,” he said.
Best Air obtained Licence in 2006 from Civil Aviation Authority of
Bangladesh to operate Passenger Service in the International and
Domestic Sectors and he said that they want to be the largest private
carrier in Asia. He said that Best Air also wants to have their own
privately owned airport by 2018 in Dhaka.
He said the Best Air would operate two frequencies via Male every
Friday and Monday. “We need 80 per cent seat factor to make our Colombo
and Male operations viable and I am confident that this target can be
reached”, he said. The airline anticipates 70 market from Maldives.
Best Aviation started operations in 1999 as a helicopter operator,
pioneering this service in Bangladesh and today the airlines fly to
Kolkata, Jaipur, Bangkok and Kunming. “Our roll out plans also include
Malaysia, Singapore and the Gulf. Domestic Destinations like Chittagong
and Sylhet. The second phase will include Far East, Middle East, Europe
and USA by using Wide Bodied Aircraft.
He also said that the cargo potential is another area they would
focus on. “In addition there are many Sri Lankan businessmen who are in
business in Bangladesh and there is a growing student population to the
capital for higher studies”, he said. “We are also looking at promoting
tourism”, he said.
Airing his views on the Colombo airport he said that it was
“However it is underutilized and authorities should ensure to invite
more airlines to fly to Colombo”, he said.
It should also be a good idea to review the ground handling charges
of the Colombo airport which is the highest in the region with US 2000
levelled as ground handling charges.
Uzzaman also thanked the Civil Aviation authorities in both countries
for the responsible and encouraging manner in which they acted.
Director FG holdings and major shareholder of Deccan Aviation, Suren
R. Mirchandani said that they would appoint agents and would open a
separate office to handle the local operations of Best Air operations.
He said that the SAARC Summit is opening up vistas of opportunities
to entrepreneurs in the region and Best Air too is one of the first.
“The Summit has stimulated investment focus to Sri Lanka and there would
be many such opportunities,” he said.