The United States And Bangladesh Sign A New Open Skies Agreement

This week, the US government signed an open skies agreement with Bangladesh to establish direct aviation ties between the two nations. The details of the agreement were announced at a ceremony in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital. We’ve got the lowdown on everything you need to know.

Biman Bangladeshi Airlines Dhaka to Toronto
Bangladesh and the US have signed an open skies agreement to encourage more cooperation between the two nations. Photo: Biman Bangladeshi Airlines

The new open skies agreement between the US and Bangladesh will allow greater cooperation on commercial and cargo routes. According to a statement by the US Department of State, the deal includes “unrestricted capacity and frequency of services, open route rights, a liberal charter regime, and codesharing opportunities.”

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The agreement is just the first stage of increased cooperation between the two nations. As both countries will be held to a high standard of safety and security, the FAA will likely open an investigation. The results of the study will then determine which airlines can open routes between the countries and how frequently.

According to the Bangladeshi Civil Aviation Authority Chairman Air Vice-Marshal Md Mofidur Rahman, the FAA was due to open an investigation earlier this year but delayed it due to other priorities.

United Newark Getty
The new agreement could see the resumption of flights between Dhaka and New York. Photo: Getty Images

The US Ambassador to Bangladesh attended the ceremony in Dhaka alongside Bangladesh’s civil aviation and tourism senior secretary. The US Ambassador Earl R Miller said the signing was “historic” as it would open up new opportunities for both nations.

What is an open skies agreement?

An open skies agreement is relatively straightforward in principle. It is an agreement between two countries in which both nations commit to fair, honest aviation practices. The aim is to encourage cooperation between the two nations. While this does have some impact on military and private aviation, it has a significant impact on commercial services.

Open skies agreements mean governments are not allowed to intervene on behalf of their own nation’s airline, thereby giving foreign airlines a healthy market to establish new routes. The agreements also mean that airlines operating between the two countries are held to specific standards regarding operations and health and safety.

The agreements indicate a level of cooperation and fairness, which can foster a good atmosphere for airlines to expand their networks. For the countries, this can lead to increased trade and tourism, and better routes for cargo planes.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines
The last Biman flight to New York operated in 2006. Photo: Biman Bangladesh Airlines

Why is this agreement so important?

The last Dhaka to New York flight operated by Bangladesh’s Biman Bangladesh Airlines took place in 2006. The route was loss-making. Once approved, traveling between the two nations will be easy for the first time in over a decade. The agreement comes just before the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

According to local media in Bangladesh, Biman Airlines is looking to relaunch its previous Dhaka to New York flight. The airline has six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner’s which it would operate on flights from Dhaka to Manchester and then on to New York. However, the airline has not confirmed this.

What do you think of the new agreement? Do you believe the Dhaka to New York route will be more profitable this time around? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.