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 fantastic.
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.