Bangladesh gets second private passenger airline

DHAKA, March 20, 2007 (AFP) – A Kuwait-based company has joined Bangladesh’s leading air-cargo operator to launch the country’s second private passenger airline, a company official said Tuesday. Biman reported a record loss of 120 million dollars in the year to June last year.

Aqeeq Aviation Holding has bought a 49 percent stake in Best Aviation Ltd and the two will jointly launch a passenger airline by July this year, Best Aviation’s chief executive officer M. Haideruzzman said.

“We’ve already got the provisional air transport operating license for the airline from Bangladesh’s civil aviation authority. We will start operation by July this year,” he added.
The two companies are scheduled to sign the joint venture agreement in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Thursday.

Best Aviation owns two cargo aircraft and has leased two others. The company is the leading air-cargo operator in Bangladesh and flies to the Middle East and Europe.

Aqeeq Aviation is a subsidiary of Kuwait-based investment fund, Al-Aqeelah Finance.
Haideruzzman said the new airline would lease two Boeing 737s initially and two more later to launch passenger air services to two domestic and six internationa