Bangladesh's US-Bangla Airlines targets 4Q23 A330 EIS

US-Bangla Airlines (BS, Dhaka) will take delivery of two A330-300s in September. The arrival of the aircraft, on lease from Avolon, was confirmed in a July 27 statement from the lessor.

Earlier this year, ch-aviation identified the two A330-300s as RP-C3344 (msn 1527) and 9H-POP (msn 1445). Both are presently at Guangzhou. The 10-year-old 9H-POP is former flyPOP/Hi Fly Malta stock, while the 9.28-year-old RP-C3344 last flew for Cebu Pacific Air. According to ch-aviation fleets advanced data, US-Bangla Airlines presently operates nine ATR72-600s, eight B737-800s, and three DHC-8-Q400s, although seven aircraft spread across all three operating types are inactive. The airline flies to 19 destinations in ten countries, including Thailand, India, Qatar, China, Malaysia, the Maldives, Oman, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

“US-Bangla Airlines has ambitious growth plans for its international operations,” commented US-Bangla Airlines Managing Director Mohammed Abdullah Al Mamun. “This is our first widebody aircraft and represents our aspirations to position US-Bangla Airlines as an airline of choice for travel to medium haul routes.”

The statement says the carrier will use the aircraft to expand services on medium-haul routes such as Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Bahrain International, and Kuwait. In March, US-Bangla CEO Lutfor Rahman told ch-aviation that the airline hoped to acquire a third A330-300 by the end of 2023 and continue growing the widebody fleet after that, albeit not with A330-300s.

“The A330-300 is fine on our existing network,” he said. But the next step in US-Bangla’s widebody strategy is to secure A330-900Ns. To this end, the carrier is constructing MRO facilities at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, with an early 2024 completion date, capable of servicing up to six A330-900Ns which will open up new markets like London Heathrow and Sydney Kingsford Smith.

Beyond that, US-Bangla is eyeing either A350-900s or A350-1000s “in 2026 and beyond” to open up North American markets to the airline. “The third step will be going to Canada and the US, and those destinations we cannot do without the A350,” said Rahman.

Separately, US-Bangla has leased slots from Oman Air (WY, Muscat) across the IATA 2023 summer at Dubai International. Oman Air has handed over thrice weekly slot pairs for use between March 29 and October 27, 2023. US-Bangla Airlines currently services this route with B737-800s.

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