United Airways (UBD) today announced an ambitious investment plan that will attract the funds it needs to operate new routes from major UK and European cities direct to Bangladesh with a focus on direct flights to Dhaka and Sylhet. United Airways (UBD) is the only private airline in Bangladesh that has the permission to fly from UK.
Sylhet Mirror :: How soon will UBD start flying from the UK to Bangladesh?
Captain Tasbirul Choudhury :: We will be launching our new services during 2016 once we have the funds in place to expand the fleet and establish the new routes.
Sylhet Mirror :: How much investment do you need?
Captain Tasbirul Choudhury :: We need £100 million to expand our fleet. We will double the size of the fleet and introduce new larger aircrafts from Boeing and Airbus that are energy efficient and capable of non-stop long haul flights. This will give us the capacity to operate new routes from London Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester direct to Sylhet and Dhaka. All our aircraft will have modern economy and luxury business class interiors with international quality service and the latest in-flight entertainment to compete with other world-class airlines.
Sylhet Mirror :: What is your track record as an airline?
Captain Tasbirul Choudhury :: UBD is recognised as Bangladesh’s largest and fastest growing private airline, the company currently operates direct routes from Dhaka to Calcutta, Dubai, Katmandu, Jeddah, Kuala Lumpur, Muscat, Doha, Singapore and Bangkok and internal flights to all domestic airports. We have safely carried over 4 million passengers and operated more than 56,000 flights. We have an exceptional track record on punctuality and reliability. 98% of flights last year took off on time.
Sylhet Mirror :: Would your current investors recommend your company?
Captain Tasbirul Choudhury :: We have achieved year on year growth since we were first licensed in 2007. I am very proud of this as it reflects the professionalism and experience of our leadership team, and most importantly our pilots and crew. We are the only Bangladeshi airline that survived the global economic crash of 2008 and our shareholders are extremely satisfied with average annual returns of more than 10%, and 47% dividends in the last 4 years. So yes, we know that they are very happy with their investment.
Sylhet Mirror :: Why is this a good time for Bangladesh’s only private airline to expand?
Captain Tasbirul Choudhury :: We understand this industry and know this is the right time. Demand is high with growth in the domestic market at 6% and internationally at 8%. Foreign airlines are requesting doubling of flights to Bangladesh proving the market is strong. Fuel costs are falling and aircraft energy efficiency has increased. We believe this is our time to expand into the European market.
Sylhet Mirror :: Why do you want Bangladeshi expatriates to invest?
Captain Tasbirul Choudhury :: United Airways Investment Fund is a new mechanism where expatriate Bangladeshis living in the UK and other countries can share in the growth of this dynamic and exciting industry. Our fast growth and history shows what a group of expatriate Bangladeshis can achieve. We were started in the UK by a group of expatriate Bangladeshis. Now we are the largest company in Bangladesh in terms of number of shareholders, with over 135,000 shareholders in the capital market. Once again, we are offering an amazing opportunity for the expatriates to be part of our expansion plan.
Sylhet Mirror :: What benefits will a new investor receive?
Captain Tasbirul Choudhury :: The new funding will ensure that a Bangladeshi airline and its Bangladeshi shareholders and investors benefit from the upsurge in flights to the country.
For an investment of £25,000, there are a whole host of benefits and perks. The financial return is very attractive. From the first year, there will be an annual rate of return of 4% and you will recoup your principal amount in just over a decade. Additionally there will be annual dividend bonus from the share investment the company will be making.
Those who join us now as an investor, will become major stakeholders in one of the world’s fastest growing airlines. They will enjoy free international flights and be treated as a VIP every time they board. They will be part of the most exclusive club in the skies – one that will make our country and the UK proud of our vision, ambition, and achievement.