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Bangladeshi planes can now fly in Japanese skies

  • Published at 07:08 pm February 6th, 2020
File photo of a Biman plane Courtesy

Bangladesh will enjoy the fifth freedom facilities, which means local airlines will be able to carry passengers from other countries to Japan

In the past, Bangladeshi airliners had restricted operations in Japan. 

At a bilateral meeting between civil aviation authorities of Japan and Bangladesh held in Tokyo on January 29, it was decided that Bangladesh could fly in and out passengers across the world to and from Tokyo.

As a part of the agreement, any Bangladeshi airlines can operate passenger and cargo flights to all airports in Japan except Haneda.

Now Japan will also grant Bangladesh the fifth freedom facility under which the local airlines will be able to take passengers from other countries to Japan. In addition, the carriers of both countries can also operate cargo flights.

The fifth freedom allows an airline to carry revenue traffic between foreign countries as a part of services connecting the airline's own country. It is the right to carry passengers from one's own country to a second country and from that country onward to a third country and so on.

Earlier in 2006, Biman Bangladesh Airlines started operating only two flights to Japan every week, that too with a transit in Bangkok. But there was no fifth freedom facility. 

However, with rise in air traffic flow between the two friendly Asian countries, the need for smoother air travel is now well recognised.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) sources said that Japan has invested in various sectors in Bangladesh and a huge portion of the Japanese market comprises of Bangladeshi goods.

The trade between the two countries is likely to increase further with Japan's plan to bring in 350,000 skilled manpower from nine countries including Bangladesh.

Based on these grounds, Bangladesh has been urging Japan to waive the restrictions on air travel. Following the meeting, Biman Bangladesh Airlines now plans to introduce regular flights in the Dhaka-Tokyo route, as well as other cities in future.

CAAB Chairman Air Vice-Marshal Md Mafidur Rahman said: "Biman Bangladesh, as well as the private airlines of the country, will be able to operate in Japan owing to this agreement. But to operate a flight, we need permission from authorities of many countries. So, we will be starting all the official procedures soon."