Sunday, 1 October, 2023

‘Direct air connectivity to widen bilateral ties with Japan’

State Minister of Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali on Monday said direct air connectivity will add value to the strategic partnership with Tokyo.

"Direct air connectivity between the two countries will play an important role in making the existing bilateral relations more effective and widening," he said.

The state minister was addressing the "Dhaka-Narita Inaugural Flight Ceremony" at Hotel Welco Narita.

The event was jointly organized by Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Bangladesh's MGH group.     

On Saturday a Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dreamliner Boeing 787 Gangchil touched Narita international Airport's taxiway after 17 long years as the Biman's first flight of direct Dhaka-Narita route BG 0376 arrived here.

Ali said Bangladesh and Japan are now contemplating to elevate the relations from 'Comprehensive Partnership' to the 'Strategic level' in the near future. He expressed that with this nonstop air connectivity, opportunities for economic

 and technological cooperation, trade and investment, education, tourism, culture and sports activities will increase.

The state minister said the Narita flight is a gift of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Bangladeshi expatriates.

Mentioning that under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) to the country has almost tripled during the last 13 years, Ali said "Here I would like to make a clarion call to you all to invest in Bangladesh's various sectors, including tourism."

In his speech Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Shahabuddin said, "I believe, with the increased volume of exchanges, the economic activities will also enhance exponentially which will create a win-win scenario for both Japan and Bangladesh."

He said the Embassy of Bangladesh is fully committed to materializing the plans and policies of the Government to secure and further strengthen socio-economic, commercial, trade, investment and business ties between the two countries in accordance with the new Japan-Bangladesh Strategic Partnership.

Managing Director and CEO of Biman Bangladesh Shafiul Azim said Biman is optimistic to make the new route profitable by attracting air travellers from Nepal, Bhutan and north eastern states of neighboring India.

Biman is already offering lucrative packages with more weight on baggage for its Narita route, he added.

Biman Board of Directors Chairman Mostafa Kamal and Narita International Airport Corporation President and CEO Akihiko Tamura also spoke at the event, among others.

The national flag carrier will operate three flights weekly with Dreamliner 787-8 and 787-9 aircrafts.

The flight will depart from Dhaka every Friday, Monday and Wednesday and from Narita every Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday.