US-Bangla Airlines plans to increase inter-connectivity in domestic routes to cater to a growing number of passengers.
The private airline has already started investing heavily in expanding its fleet by purchasing short-haul aircraft like the ATR 72-600.
The company has six brand new ATR aircraft and it wants to increase the number to 10 this year.
It also plans to increase the frequency of flights on domestic routes to 35, from the existing 26.
The airline has already started negotiating with the Civil Aviation Authority about introducing flights on different domestic routes such as Chattogram to Sylhet, Sylhet to Cox's Bazar and Jashore to Cox's Bazar.
Sikder Mezbahuddin Ahmed, adviser to US-Bangla, on Sunday disclosed their expansion plan at a press conference at the Parjatan Motel in Sylhet during the inauguration of its sixth brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft.
"We are increasing the number of ATR aircraft in our fleet, aiming to extend connectivity on domestic routes," he said.
The other objective of buying short-haul aircraft is to make flight tickets affordable, he added.
US-Bangla Airlines suffered an image crisis following the Nepal plane crash in March 2018. Its business was badly affected after that. However, the airline has now restored customer confidence by adding modern technology-based aircraft to the fleet.
"Safety is our highest priority and that is why we are adding modern technology-based aircraft," said Mezbahuddin.
The airline has also intensified training for its crew to ensure safe operations.
US-Bangla Airlines came into being on July 17, 2014 with two 76-seater Dash8-Q400 aircraft and with a maiden flight to Jashore.
It went international within two years by introducing flights to Kathmandu.
The airline's fleet now consists of thirteen aircraft – four Boeing 737-800, six brand new ATR72-600 and three Dash8-Q400, which is the highest for a private airline in the country.
On domestic routes, the airline currently operates daily flights to Chattogram, Cox's Bazar, Jashore, Saidpur, Sylhet, Rajshahi and Barishal from Dhaka.
On international routes, it has flights to Kolkata, Chennai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Guangzhou, Muscat and Doha.
Regarding the coronavirus outbreak in China, Mezbahuddin said it has affected business through their flights to Guangzhou because the number of outbound passengers to China has declined drastically.
"However, the load factor of inbound flights from China is still above 80 percent. That is why the airline has decided to continue flights to China until the load factor comes down to below 50 percent," he added.