Cabinet approves draft of Dhaka-Vienna air connectivity agreement
Bangladesh will now get transit hub facilities in European countries under the Dhaka-Vienna air connectivity agreement.
The cabinet on Monday approved the draft of an air services agreement to be signed with Austria for direct flight operations between Dhaka and Austria’s capital Vienna.
On May 16, 2018, an initial draft relating to bilateral flights between Bangladesh and Austria was signed in Vienna.
If the proposed agreement is signed, it will serve as the basis for direct flights between Bangladesh and Austria, according to the draft.
Any designated airline of Bangladesh will be able to operate at any airport in Austria and, reciprocally, any Austrian airline will be able to operate at any airport in Bangladesh, read the draft.
A setting up of air links between the two countries will increase cooperation in trade, commerce, labour, industry, health and defence sectors.
This agreement will facilitate air communication with other European countries and act as a hub, as mentioned in the agreement letter.
Under the agreement, the two countries will be able to determine the number of passenger and cargo flights on the basis of negotiations.
The designated airlines of both countries will be able to operate seven passenger and cargo flights per week under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to be inked on the signing date of the main agreement.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam has noted that the headquarters of some international organizations, including Amnesty International, Care International, Abra, are in Vienna. As such, this air connectivity is important for Bangladesh.
Altogether 22 sections of the agreement, “Air services agreement between the Austrian Federal Government and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh,” have been framed in line with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), told Dhaka Tribune: “Through the approval of this agreement, Bangladesh will be able to fully enter the European market.
“There are initial draft agreements with 53 countries and recently 18 more countries have expressed interest in this kind of air deals.”
“Currently, there are air connections to only 23 destinations in 19 countries. Among European countries Bangladesh has direct air connectivity with only the UK,” the CAAB chief added.