Biman Bangladesh Airlines has launched three weekly flight services from Dhaka and Sylhet airports in Bangladesh to Manchester Airport in the UK.

The launch of direct air routes between Manchester and Bangladesh is expected to result in a ‘new era of collaboration between the two locations’, according to Manchester Airport.

The coming months will see delegations from Dhaka and Sylhet visiting Manchester to explore opportunities in a wide of range of business, cultural and educational fields.

Representatives from Greater Manchester will travel to Bangladesh to share expertise in areas such as infrastructure and waste management.

Manchester Airport CEO Andrew Cowan said: “We know there is a significant Bangladeshi community across our catchment area and this Biman Bangladesh service will be hugely popular with friends, family and business contacts travelling in both directions.

“We are confident it will also open up a wide range of fresh collaboration opportunities between Greater Manchester and both Dhaka and Sylhet.”

Biman Bangladesh Airline will run the flight services from Manchester to Dhaka and Sylhet on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with each flight taking around ten hours.

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The national airline will use two new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, which come with a seating capacity of 24 in business class and 247 in economy class.

Economy fares will begin from £580 return while business class return fares are around £1,500.

Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, has more than 20 million people living in its urban area and contributes to approximately 35% of the country’s economy. Sylhet is a large city in Bangladesh, with 800,000 people living in its urban area.

There are around 300,000 people of Bangladeshi origin living in northern parts of the UK and this service from Manchester Airport is expected to provide them the closest direct route to Bangladesh.

Biman regional manager Debabrota Mallick said: “A direct flight from Manchester to Sylhet and Manchester to Dhaka has been on our radar for quite some time. As part of our business strategy, our main focus has been to connect Manchester to both these thriving parts of Bangladesh.

“Not only was this due to high demand from the Bangladeshi community in the north, but we also saw a good opportunity to increase tourism and business potential, which has been increasing year-on-year.”

Last November, Manchester Airport announced flights between Manchester and Shanghai with Juneyao Air. The flight service will start at the end of March and will operate three times a week.