Boeing predicts air travel in Bangladesh will double in next 10 years
US aircraft manufacturer giant Boeing has predicted that air travel in Bangladesh will double in the next decade – driven by the country’s growing population, expanding economy and the middleclass. Boeing provided details about the increasing demand and capacity for air travel in Bangladesh in a briefing today in Dhaka, on its Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), a yearly forecast of global and regional demand for aircraft. Through 2032, Bangladesh is expected to achieve an annual economic growth rate of more than 5% -- double the global average, supporting air traffic growth at nearly 8.5% annually, according to Boeing. Read More: NOVOAIR launches direct flight on Jashore-Cox’s Bazar route “As travel restrictions were relaxed over the past year, capacity growth in Bangladesh has increased by 11% year-over-year,” said Dave Schulte, Boeing Commercial Marketing Managing Director for Asia Pacific and India, on Wednesday (May 10, 2023). Led by regional traffic to the Middle East and India, Bangladesh’s air travel could double over the next 10 years, he said. To meet strong demands in passenger travel and air cargo, Boeing anticipates South Asia’s carriers will need more than 2,300 new commercial airplanes over the next 20 years, more than tripling South Asia’s current in-service fleet of 700 airplanes. Read: US-Bangla Airlines to operate Boeing 737 Max 8 “We see tremendous opportunity in South Asia, with more than 80% of new deliveries supporting air travel growth and 20% replacing older, less fuel-efficient airplanes,” said Schulte. Single-aisle airplanes like the Boeing 737 family will make up nearly 90% of South Asia’s future fleet, while 10% of the regional fleet will be widebody airplanes like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Both airplane models are currently in operation with Biman Bangladesh Airlines and US-Bangla Airlines. “Boeing airplanes have played a tremendous role in the rapid growth of commercial aviation in Bangladesh. Commonality across the fleet will continue to play a major role in furthering growth, especially as it enables our airline customers to reduce operating costs and expenditures associated with training and maintenance,” added the Boeing Commercial Marketing Managing Director for Asia Pacific and India. Read More: Target trade-based capital flight, not genuine consumption through imports: Economists
Biman to use own aircraft for Hajj flights this year
Biman Bangladesh Airlines will use its own aircraft this year for operating Hajj flights instead of leasing planes. “As we don’t benefit from the leasing process, we have decided to use our own aircraft for Hajj flights,” Shafiul Azim, CEO and managing director of the national flag carrier, told UNB. Biman authorities discussed the decision at an inter-ministerial meeting on Wednesday. Read more: Mecca Route Initiative agreement to make Bangladeshi pilgrims' journey easier: Shahriar “We are preparing in advance to ensure smooth operation of Hajj flights,” the Biman CEO said. The decision follows the airline’s experience from last year’s Hajj flights. It used four of its widebody planes for last year’s Hajj flights. Md. Faridul Haq Khan, state minister for religious affairs, told UNB that Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudia Airlines will carry 50 percent of Hajj pilgrims each this year. Read more: Route to Mecca: MoU signed to make Bangladeshi pilgrims' Saudi visits easier “According to the Saudi-Bangladesh Hajj Treaty of 2023, Bangladeshi pilgrims can perform Hajj this year as per full quota,” he added. He also said that Hajj packages will be announced by January 25–30. In response to a question about package prices, he said prices will not be increased this year. Read more: Biman launches flights to China’s Guangzhou “Passengers may have to spend a slightly higher amount for the increased dollar price, however,” he said. A total of 1,27,198 Bangladeshis can perform Hajj this year. Faridul Haq Khan also said the age limit has been withdrawn and Bangladeshis over the age of 65 can perform Hajj this year. Read More: No age limit: 1.27 lakh Bangladeshis can perform Hajj this year, deal signed with Saudi Pre-arrival immigration for all Bangladeshi Hajj pilgrims will be completed in Dhaka under the ‘Road to Makkah’ agreement. However, the Saudi authorities may decide to reduce the permitted number of pilgrims if the Covid-19 situation worsens, he concluded.
6 killed after vintage aircraft collide at Dallas air show
Six people were killed after two historic military planes collided and crashed to the ground Saturday afternoon during a Dallas air show, officials said. “According to our Dallas County Medical Examiner, there are a total of 6 fatalities from yesterday’s Wings over Dallas air show incident,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted Sunday. He said authorities are continuing to work to identify the victims. Emergency crews raced to the crash scene at the Dallas Executive Airport, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the city’s downtown. News footage from the scene showed crumpled wreckage of the planes in a grassy area inside the airport perimeter. Dallas Fire-Rescue told The Dallas Morning News that there were no reported injuries among people on the ground. Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide. “I just stood there. I was in complete shock and disbelief,” said Montoya, 27, who attended the air show with a friend. “Everybody around was gasping. Everybody was bursting into tears. Everybody was in shock.” Officials did not specify how many people were inside each plane, but Hank Coates, president of the company that put on the airshow, said one of the planes, a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, typically has a crew of four to five people. The other, a P-63 Kingcobra fighter plane, has a single pilot. No paying customers were on the aircraft, said Coates, of Commemorative Air Force, which also owned the planes. Their aircraft are flown by highly trained volunteers, often retired pilots, he said. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the National Transportation Safety Board had taken control of the crash scene, with local police and fire providing support. “The videos are heartbreaking,” Johnson said on Twitter. The planes collided and crashed around 1:20 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The collision occurred during the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas show. Victoria Yeager, the widow of famed Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager and herself a pilot, was also at the show. She didn’t see the collision, but did see the burning wreckage. “It was pulverized,” said Yeager, 64, who lives in Fort Worth. “We were just hoping they had all gotten out, but we knew they didn’t,” she said of those on board. The B-17, a cornerstone of U.S. air power during World War II, is an immense four-engine bomber used in daylight raids against Germany. The Kingcobra, a U.S. fighter plane, was used mostly by Soviet forces during the war. Most B-17s were scrapped at the end of World War II and only a handful remain today, largely featured at museums and air shows, according to Boeing. Several videos posted on social media showed the fighter plane appearing to fly into the bomber, causing them to quickly crash to the ground and setting off a large ball of fire and smoke. “It was really horrific to see,” Aubrey Anne Young, 37, of Leander. Texas, who saw the crash. Her children were inside the hangar with their father when it occurred. “I’m still trying to make sense of it.” A woman next to Young can be heard crying and screaming hysterically on a video that Young uploaded to her Facebook page. Air show safety — particularly with older military aircraft — has been a concern for years. In 2011, 11 people were killed in Reno, Nevada, when a P-51 Mustang crashed into spectators. In 2019, a bomber crashed in Hartford, Connecticut, killing seven people. The NTSB said then that it had investigated 21 accidents since 1982 involving World War II-era bombers, resulting in 23 deaths. Wings Over Dallas bills itself as “America’s Premier World War II Airshow,” according to a website advertising the event. The show was scheduled for Nov. 11-13, Veterans Day weekend, and guests were to see more than 40 World War II-era aircraft. Its Saturday afternoon schedule of flying demonstrations included the “bomber parade” and “fighter escorts” that featured the B-17 and P-63. Arthur Alan Wolk is a Philadelphia aviation attorney who flew in air shows for 12 years. After watching the air show video and hearing the maneuvers described as “bombers on parade,” Wolk told The Associated Press Sunday that the P-63 pilot violated the basic rule of formation flying. “He went belly up to the leader,” Wolk said. “That prevents him from gauging distance and position. The risk of collision is very high when you cannot see who you are supposed to be in formation with and that kind of join up is not permitted.” He added, “I am not blaming anyone and to the greatest extent possible air shows, the pilots and the aircraft that fly in them are safe. Air shows are one of the largest spectator events in America and it is rare that a tragedy like this occurs.” Wolk said it takes extensive training and discipline to fly in an air show setting. The air show qualifications of the P-63 pilot are not known. The FAA was also launching an investigation, officials said.
Certificate award ceremony of BAF aircraft accident investigation course held
The certificate award ceremony of the No. 11 Aircraft Accident Investigation course of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) was held at the Flight Safety Institute in Dhaka Thursday. Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Maintenance) Air Vice Marshal Sade Uddin Ahmed attended the ceremony as chief guest and distributed certificates to the student officers. Twelve student officers participated in this course over 17 working days. Read: BAF training aircraft crashes in Tangail; pilot killed Of the participants, five officers were from BAF; two each from Bangladesh Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Tanzania Air Force and one from Pakistan Air Force. Lieutenant Commander Md Shahnur Talukdar Munna of Bangladesh Navy secured the first position in the course, according to the Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) Directorate. Senior BAF officers, guests from Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy and the Pakistan High Commission were present at the ceremony.
Missing World War II aircraft found in India after 77 years
A missing World War II plane has been identified in India’s remote Himalayas nearly 80 years after it crashed with no survivors, following a search in a treacherous high-altitude area, reported Khaleej Times. The C-46 transport aircraft was carrying 13 people from Kunming in southern China when it disappeared in stormy weather over a mountainous stretch of Arunachal Pradesh state in the first week of 1945. “This aircraft was never heard from again. It simply disappeared,” said Clayton Kuhles, a US adventurer who led the mission after a request from the son of one of those on board the doomed flight. The expedition saw Kuhles and a team of guides from the local Lisu ethnic group ford chest-deep rivers and camp in freezing temperatures at high altitudes. Also read: Why investors fleeing Chinese property market see India as an opportunity It was a potentially lethal mission: In 2018 three Lisu hunters had died of hypothermia in the same area when they were caught in an unseasonal September snowstorm, Kuhles said, while two others “barely escaped alive”. “My Lisu guides and porters were very uneasy about our high camp location,” he added. But the team finally located the plane on a snow-clad mountain top last month, where they were able to identify the wreckage by the tail number. There were no human remains in what was left of the craft. Kuhles was tasked with conducting the search by Bill Scherer, whose officer father was aboard the plane when it crashed. “All I can say is that I am overjoyed, just knowing where he is. It is sad but joyous,” Scherer told AFP by email from New York. Also read: India test-fires latest version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile “I grew up without a father. All I can think of is my poor mother, getting a telegram and finding out her husband is missing and she is left with me, a 13-month-old baby boy.” Hundreds of US military planes went missing around the theatre of operations in India, China and Myanmar during World War II. While hostile fire from Japanese forces did account for some aircraft losses, Kuhles said the majority are believed to have been brought down by ice damage, hurricane-force winds and other severe weather conditions.
One day Bangladesh to manufacture its own aircraft, hopes Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday hoped that Bangladesh will one day be able to produce aircraft and helicopters as the government wants to launch training and research for engineers in this regard. “InshaAllah, one day we’ll be able to produce aircraft, helicopters and warplanes in our country through research. I do believe it. We want to impart training and conduct research accordingly from now,” she said while addressing the President Parade (Winter)-2021 of Bangladesh Air Force. The Prime Minister virtually joined the parade held at Bangladesh Air Force Academy in Jashore from her official residence Ganobhaban. READ: Govt never interfered with judicial process: Hasina The present government established Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University in Lalmonirhat with an aim to modernise aerospace research, development of the Air Force and the civil aviation sector, she said. “We put the utmost importance to aerospace research,” the Prime Minister insisted. She highlighted Awami League government’s measures to modernise the Bangladesh Air Force particularly in the last 13 years after assuming power in 2009. Hasina said the Air Defence Notification Centre has recently been launched with the name of ‘Air Defence Identification Area’ over the airspace of Bangladesh, which is playing a vital role in the air defence and security management of the country. In the context of building 'Digital Bangladesh,' a certified tier-III data centre was procured for the Bangladesh Air Force and its installation work is underway now, she said. “With this data centre, it’ll be possible to perform various activities of the Air Force digitally instead of the traditional method,” said the Prime Minister. Most recently, a very-small-aperture terminal (VSAT) hub and terminal station have been procured for the Air Force. With the help of Bangabandhu Satellite-1, it will be possible to establish satellite-based communication between Air Force bases and units through the VSAT hub and terminal station, she said.
India successfully test-fires air-launched version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile
Air launched version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from the supersonic fighter aircraft Sukhoi 30 MK-I from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha on Wednesday. In this copy book flight, the missile launched from the aircraft followed the pre-planned trajectory meeting all mission objectives, read a press statement from the Ministry of Defence on Wednesday, reports ANI. Read:India's first military chief among 13 dead in chopper crash Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has praised Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), BrahMos, Indian Air Force and the industry on the successful test firing. According to the Ministry of Defence, the launch is a major milestone in the BrahMos development as it paves the way for the serial production of air-version BrahMos missiles within the country. Major airframe assemblies which form the integral part of the Ramjet Engine are indigenously developed by Indian Industry. These include metallic and non-metallic air frame sections comprising Ramjet fuel tank and pneumatic fuel supply system. Various laboratories of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), academic institutions, quality assurance & certification agencies, Public Sector undertakings and Indian Air Force participated in the development, testing, production and induction of this complex missile system. Read: India's military chief feared dead in chopper crash During the test, the structural integrity and functional performance have been proven. The air version of BrahMos was last flight tested in July 2021. BrahMos is a Joint Venture between India (DRDO) and Russia (NPOM) for the development, production and marketing of the supersonic cruise missile. BrahMos is the potent offensive missile weapon system already inducted into the Armed Forces.
US-Bangla Airlines includes two more aircraft to its fleet
US-Bangla Airlines has included two Boeing 737-800 aircraft to its fleet. With the inclusion of two Boeing 737s, the number of US-Bangla aircraft rose to 16. Two Boeing 737-800 aircraft reached Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 11:00 PM and 11:30 PM on Friday. Also read: US Bangla launches Dhaka-Male-Dhaka direct flights These two aircraft from Jordan has 189 economy class seats. US-Bangla is also going to start flights from Dhaka to Colombo, Sharjah, and Delhi route with this aircraft, said a media release. Business development director of US-Bangla Airlines Capt. Lutfor Rahman and other officials of Civil Aviation Authority and US-Bangla Airlines were present at the at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport while receiving the aircraft. Also read: Coronavirus: US Bangla to provide PPE to medical college hospitals free of cost
Race on to evacuate 22,000 Afghans by Aug. 31 deadline
In a perfect world, according to American defense officials, U.S. military aircraft would be able to get 5,000 Afghans out of the Kabul airport each day. But perfect is the furthest thing from the conditions on the ground in Afghanistan right now. After flights were grounded most of Monday to allow troops to corral a crowd of desperate Afghans who’d stormed the airport hoping to board C-17 Globemasters, the Pentagon confirmed in the early evening that flights had resumed and that they are working on the logistics to get as many as 22,000 Afghan interpreters, their families and other vulnerable Afghans into the U.S. ― by Aug. 31, reported US military's media outlet Military Times. “Over the next two weeks, we’re going to be as aggressive as we can in moving as many people as we can,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told Military Times. “That’s seats on airplanes, not just military airplanes, but commercial and charter airplanes as well.” For now, C-17s arriving to drop off troops are loading up with embassy personnel, other American citizens and Afghan special immigrant visa applicants, moving to one of a small handful of partner countries who have agreed to be way stations. So far, Qatar is the only confirmed location. With the airport now under control, all estimated 22,000 people could be out in a week. If it takes longer than that, officials couldn’t confirm whether the mission would be extended into September. President Joe Biden said in an address Monday that the U.S. delayed SIV evacuations so as not to create a panic in the country. “Some of the Afghans did not want to leave earlier, still hopeful for their country,” he said. “It was also in part because the Afghan government and its supporters discouraged us from organizing a mass exodus, to avoid triggering, as they said, a crisis of confidence.” The Afghanistan crisis action group stood up in July, at the State Department’s behest, more than two months after President Joe Biden announced in April the full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by the end of the summer. Almost immediately, Americans and Afghans alike wanted to know the exit plan for locals who had risked their lives to help U.S. troops. They didn’t get their answer until late July, when State announced that 4,000 Afghans would be flown to a third country to complete their security screenings, while 750 would go straight to Fort Lee, Virginia, to do their final medical screenings before receiving their special immigrant visas. Roughly 2,000 of those have made it to the U.S. since. On Monday, the Pentagon confirmed that Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, would be opened up to temporarily house incoming refugees, with the capacity to take in up to 22,000 before the end of the month. READ: ‘Will remain alert,' says FM about Afghan-trained terrorists The action group will “continue to do everything in this department to continue this process,” Garry Reid, the group’s lead, told Military Times, up to and past the deadline, if that’s called for. “We’re going to stay in this as long as it takes, as long as we can contribute,” he said. But Kirby reiterated that Aug. 31 is still the deadline, and that 22,000 is more of a ceiling than a known head count. “It doesn’t mean that there are going to be 22,000 people that need that support,” he said. Weeks ago, when those evacuations began, the Taliban was rapidly conquering provincial capitals, but there was still a chance that SIVs not located in Kabul would be able to get themselves to the capital and to the airport to be processed. Now, the chances are more slim than ever. When reinforcements have all arrived, there will be roughly 7,000 U.S. troops securing the Kabul airport, and their mission so far is confined there, Kirby said, with no plans currently to help escort anyone to the airport. So while State has roughly 18,000 known applicants, and DoD is prepared to take in even more, the real determining factor will be whether these Afghans can make it safely to Hamid Karzai International. READ: Pakistan, U.S. speak on Afghanistan's future As for whether the security mission there could go past August, in an effort to evacuate as many as possible, Kirby could not say definitively. “Beyond Aug. 31, it’s just too difficult to speculate, and we wouldn’t get ahead of decisions that are yet to be made,” he said.
TrueNoord leases two aircrafts to US-Bangla airlines
US-Bangla Airlines recently took lease of two ATR 72-600 aircrafts from TrueNoord, a specialist regional aircraft lessor aiming to expand its regional fleet.