Local airlines’ market share on the up


Local airlines’ market share on the up
Mashiur Rahaman

DHAKA, APR 9: Bangladeshi airlines in 2010 have witnessed a remarkable growth in the numbers of international flyers, thanks to their vigorous expansion.

A recent comparative analysis by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) shows foreign airlines that operate in Bangladesh, have lost their market control to their local counterparts. It came down to 65 per cent in 2010 from 71 per cent in 2009. For the first time, local carriers have managed to check the ever-growing growth of international carriers, CAAB official told The Independent.

The country’s national airline — Biman Bangladesh Airlines along with two other private airlines, has secured 35 per cent market share at the end of 2010.

Bangladeshi airline operators managed to secure 29 per cent market share in 2009, the CAAB released data revealed.

Biman with 1.16 million passengers improved its market share to 28 per cent at the end of 2010. In 2009, the national airline managed to secure 24 per cent market share, transporting 1.05 million passengers.

Growth in the market share of international flyers was also registered by GMG Airlines, the largest private carrier in Bangladesh.

At the end of 2010, GMG’s control in the segment improved significantly to 6 per cent from 4 per cent of 2009, the CAAB data revealed.

Market share of United Airways (BD) Limited has remained unchanged; it managed 1.0 per cent in both 2010-9. “This is an achievement for Biman’s management,” Managing Director and CEO of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Air Commodore Muhammad Zakiul Islam (Rtd.) said.

The growing number of air-travellers has been the major driving force for Biman’s growth in market share. The successful Hajj operations have also added to the cause.

“With the addition of more aircrafts in Biman’s fleet in the later half of the year, we are expecting to reach newer destinations and increased frequency. This will enhance our market share even further and faster,” Mr Islam said.

The state-airline transported 45,000 Hajj pilgrims in the last season, highest ever in the airline’s history.

The market share of Biman in the international air travel once boasted of 50 per cent. But since early 2000’s the story has changed and it kept on decreasing until the recent success.

“The growth in market share by the local airlines proves that we can regain our lost control over international passenger traffic, if quality and timely service is ensured,” Managing Director of GMG Airlines Shahab Sattar told The Independent.

Since the inception of private airlines in Bangladesh, operators have tried to convince the local regulatory authority that Bangladeshi airlines have the potential to become major player in the airline industry.

“With regular expansion of our fleet and by adding more destinations, we have ensured to grow and it will continue in the years to come,” Mr Sattar said.

To sustain this growth, we need supportive and well-defined regulatory framework from the local regulatory authority, he added.

According to CAAB record, a total of 4.06 million international passengers were carried by the three local airlines and two-dozens of international airline operators in 2010. It registered over five per cent growth from 3.85 million international passengers’ base in 2009.

Among the total number of passengers, 1.16 million passengers (departure 0.61 million and arrival 0.55 million) were carried by Biman Bangladesh Airlines while 2.9 million international route passengers were transported by international carriers (departure 1.16 million and arrival 1.44 million).


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