Laker Airways splashed the headline 30 years ago “New York for $100”. You had to queue with no reservations system and APD did not exist.
Now Biman Bangladesh Airlines is doing virtually the same from June onwards with a new twice weekly flight from Birmingham Airport to New York JFK. In fact the initial fare will be £100 each way plus £69 APD from the UK and anything else the airport/handling agent adds, which they also call tax.
The fact that Biman can operate the service is due to the way the various bilaterals are drawn up. Bangladesh has full ‘Open Skies’ with the US, and has fifth freedom rights out of the UK, with the exception of Heathrow.
The airline will be using a brand new Boeing two-class Boeing 777-300ER with full flat bed in Business Class, a fourth aircraft due from Boeing later this month.
Speaking on the occasion of the final DC10 passenger flight week at Birmingham Airport (See BTN 24 February), Kevin Steele, the airline’s MD said that he was excited with the prospect of operating into New York. “We are getting a lot of interest,” he said. At Heathrow Biman charges around £1,000 for a flight to Dhaka, easily undercutting one stop Middle East competitors. www.biman-airlines.com