Jin Air, a South Korean airline, has expressed its keen interest in enhancing its flight operation with regular direct scheduled flights between Bangladesh and South Korea.
The carrier has already operated 121 direct chartered flights between Dhaka and Incheon in the last three years, said a press release issued on Saturday (11 November).
The Airline, which is a subsidiary of the national carrier Korean Air group, has already conveyed its interest in establishing direct scheduled commercial flights between Bangladesh and Korea to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB).
Jin Air sees market potential in Bangladesh-Korea direct scheduled flights as South Korea remains one of the largest foreign investors in Bangladesh since independence, while the demand for foreign workers in South Korea has been steadily on the rise.
In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Korean community and embassies of both countries collaborated with Jin Air to initiate direct commercial chartered flights in 2021, to meet the demands of Korean evacuees and business travellers, as well as the Bangladeshi expatriate workers employed in Korea who were stranded during the initial pandemic period.
Since then, Jin Air has successfully conducted a total of 112 direct flights, facilitating travel of more than 27,007 passengers, of which around 10,118 were Bangladeshi expatriate workers, fulfilling the entire Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Ltd (BOESL) demand since the onset of the pandemic.
In an appreciation letter, BOESL said it could be impossible without having outstanding and uninterrupted chartered flight support from Jin Air to travel Bangladeshi workers employed under the Employment Permit System (EPS) in South Korea.
Jin Air's firm commitment persists in seeing the route grow from its initial stages to become a frequent, possibly even daily, scheduled service in the future.
Jin Air has already applied to operate a series of non-scheduled commercial flights from October 2023 onwards with the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh.
CAAB has been reviewing and granting operating permits to Jin Air to operate flights on a weekly basis while the Korean carrier has consistently fulfilled all relevant payment obligations as per the rule.
As special charter flights, Jin Air paid almost 50% more ground handling fees to Biman compared to other regular flights.
According to the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry, Jin Air paid all aeronautical and non-aeronautical charges at the same rate as other commercial scheduled flights while the authorities have so far realised Tk2.06 crore as aeronautical charges from Jin Air.
Showing its highest commitment and dedication, Jin Air continued its chartered commercial flights with as few as 39 passengers on board while it never imposed extra charges on Bangladeshi EPS workers, prioritising their safety and professional security.