United Airways

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This article is about the airline based in the Bangladesh. For the airline in United States, see United Airlines.
For other uses, see United Airways (disambiguation).
United Airways (Bangladesh)
ইউনাইটেড এয়ারওয়েজ
United-airways-bd.png
IATA
4H[1]
ICAO
UBD[1]
Callsign
UNITED BANGLADESH[1]
Founded 28 June 2005[2]
Commenced operations 10 July 2007
Hubs Shahjalal International Airport
(Dhaka)
Secondary hubs Shah Amanat International Airport
(Chittagong)
Fleet size 11
Destinations 13
Company slogan Fly Your Own Airline
Headquarters 1, Jasimuddin Avenue, Uttara Tower, Uttara, Dhaka-1230, Bangladesh
Employees 1,000 (2014)[3]
Website www.uabdl.com

United Airways (BD) Ltd. (DSE : UNITEDAIR CSE : UNITEDAIR), operating as United Airways (Bengali: ইউনাইটেড এয়ারওয়েজ), is a Bangladeshi airline headquartered in Uttara, Dhaka.[4] It operates flights from its main hub at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka and secondary hub at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong. It was founded in 2005 and began flights on 10 July 2007 with a Bombardier Dash 8-100, purchased from Island Air.[5] United Airways is the first listed company in the aviation sector of Bangladesh;[6][7] it became listed in July 2010.[2]

In its seven years of operations, it operated 48,000 flights, carried 2 million passengers and 5,000 tonnes of cargo.[8] As of 2014, it employs over 1000 people.[3]

In September 2014, the airline temporarily suspended its operations for three days following a conflict among its board of directors and a financial crisis.[9][3][10][11]

History[edit]

United Airways (Bangladesh) Limited, was founded by Captain Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury, a British-Bangladeshi expatriate, along with few businessman and entrepreneurs in 2005. It obtained the Air Transport Operating License (ATOL) from Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh on 28 June 2005.[5][12]

The airline started operating scheduled domestic flights on 10 July 2007, its maiden flights being DhakaSylhet and Dhaka—Chittagong, with a Bombardier Dash 8-100, purchased from Island Air.[13] After few months, domestic flights to Cox's Bazar,[14] Jessore,[14] and Barisal[15] started, along with international service to Kolkata from Dhaka and Chittagong.[16] Another Dash 8-100 was delivered in 2008.

In 2009, the airline received a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft, and launched flights to London,[17] Dubai,[18] Kuala Lumpur[19] and Kathmandu.[20]

United Airways Airbus A310-300 preparing to take off from Shahjalal International Airport in 2012.

In 2010, it commenced flights to Jeddah,[21] and launched the lucrative Sylhet-London flight with an Airbus A310-300,[22] while an ATR 72-200[22] and McDonnell Douglas MD-83 were delivered.

In 2011, it added a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, another Airbus A310-300 and an ATR 72-200. Flights to Bangkok started[23] and the carrier launched the route Dhaka-Rajshahi-Saidpur.

In 2012, it began flights to Muscat from Dhaka and Chittagong, restarted the Chittagong-Kolkata flight, and it also resumed flights to Bangkok.[24][25][26]

In 2013, it added two McDonnell Douglas MD-83[27] and an ATR 72-200.[28][29] It launched flights to Singapore and domestic flights to Ishwardi.[30][31]

In 2014, the carrier launched flights to Doha in May.[32] The airline was scheduled to commence flights to Karachi [11][33]

The airline also plans to launch flights to Medina, Yangon, Dammam, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Jakarta in the near future.[6][29] It also to purchase 18-seater British Aerospace Jetstream 31 aircraft for domestic services to smaller airports.[34][35]

Operation suspension[edit]

On 24 September 2014 evening, United Airways temporarily suspended all domestic and international flights.[3][10][11] A conflict of interest among board members was the reason for the short suspension.[9] The day before the suspension, the resignation of Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury, the chairman and managing director was announced by the airline; following that the board was reshuffled and temporary chairman and managing director were appointed.[36][37] More than two thousand passengers were stranded in Bangladesh and abroad because of flight cancellations;[9][38] international flights to Doha, Muscat and Kuala Lumpur from Dhaka did not leave.[10] The suspension also affected the investors of the listed company, as stock prices fell by 7.63 percent at Dhaka Stock Exchange.[39] However on 27 September, three days after the suspension, the carrier resumed operations with a domestic flight following a consensus among board members.[9][40]

Destinations[edit]

United Airways ATR 72-200 landing at Shahjalal International Airport in 2012.
United Airways Bombardier Dash 8-100 prepares to touch down at Shahjalal International Airport in 2012.

United Airways serves the following destinations (as of August 2014):[41]

City Country Airport Notes Refs
Bangkok  Thailand Suvarnabhumi Airport TERMINATED [41]
Barisal  Bangladesh Barisal Airport TERMINATED [41]
Chittagong  Bangladesh Shah Amanat International Airport Secondary hub [41]
Cox's Bazar  Bangladesh Cox's Bazar Airport [41]
Dhaka  Bangladesh Shahjalal International Airport Hub [41]
Doha  Qatar Hamad International Airport [41]
Dubai  United Arab Emirates Dubai International Airport TERMINATED [41]
Ishwardi  Bangladesh Ishwardi Airport TERMINATED [41]
Jeddah  Saudi Arabia King Abdulaziz International Airport [41]
Jessore  Bangladesh Jessore Airport [41]
Karachi  Pakistan Jinnah International Airport [33]
Kathmandu    Nepal Tribhuvan International Airport [41]
Kolkata  India Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport [41]
Kuala Lumpur  Malaysia Kuala Lumpur International Airport [41]
London  United Kingdom Gatwick Airport TERMINATED [42]
Muscat  Oman Muscat International Airport [41]
Rajshahi  Bangladesh Shah Makhdum Airport [41]
Saidpur  Bangladesh Saidpur Airport [41]
Singapore  Singapore Singapore Changi Airport TERMINATED [41]
Sylhet  Bangladesh Osmani International Airport [41]

In-flight amenities[edit]

In-flight meals are provided on international flights, and juices and candies are provided on domestic flights. None of its aircraft are equipped with in-flight entertainment. It has an in-flight magazine called Welcome Bangladesh.[43]

Fleet[edit]

United Airways operates all economy cabin seats in all of its aircraft. Average aircraft age is above 20 years, making them prone to technical glitches.[44][45] The United Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of August 2014):[46]

United Airways Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers
(Economy)
Notes
Airbus A310-300 2
250
ATR 72-200 3
66
Bombardier Dash 8-100 1
37
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 5
155-170
Two stored.[47]
Total 11

As of October 2014, the average age of the United Airways fleet is 21.3 years.[1]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 13 August 2012: Flight 546, an ATR 72-212 registered S2-AFE, was performing a domestic flight en route to Dhaka from Jessore, carrying 10 passengers, when the windshield of the first officer (co-pilot) completely blew out due to high pressure at an altitude of 9000 feet. The captain safely landed the plane at Shahjalal International Airport. The first officer received an eye injury.[48][49]
  • 20 July 2014: Flight 501, an ATR 72-212 registered S2-AFN, was performing a domestic flight en route to Cox's Bazar from Dhaka, carrying 43 passengers and 5 crews, when the nose gear collapsed after safely landing at Cox's Bazar Airport.[50] This caused severe damage to the front fuselage of the aircraft. The airport was shut down for 22 hours until the aircraft was safely evacuated from the runway.[51]
  • 11 August 2014: Flight 584, a MD-83, performing an international flight en route to Dhaka, Bangladesh from Muscat, Oman, carrying 148 passengers, narrowly averted a mid-air collision with a Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 cargo aircraft while flying over Kolkata airspace in India due to a mistake by an air traffic controller from Kolkata Air Traffic Control.[52] The MD-83 was at a cruising altitude of about 33000 feet when ATC asked the aircraft to descend to 29000 feet.[52] While descending, at an altitude of 32000 feet, the aircraft's TCAS warned the pilots of an imminent collision with the nearby aircraft.[52] The captain of the United Airways aircraft, claimed he was in "visual distance" with the Saudia 747. He followed procedures and ascended to 33000 feet to avoid the collision.[52] An investigation is underway to determine what caused this incident.[52]

Controversies[edit]

In June 2011, a court in London had ordered United Airways to repaint its fleet and change its brand after a legal action was taken by American carrier United Airlines.[53][54] Lawyers for United Airlines said that United Airways had "illegally violated" its trademark and "wrongly associated its services with" those of the American airline.[55][56] The problem arose when United Airways had services to London Gatwick Airport, which may have confused passengers flying with United Airlines.[53]

In November 2012, United Airways was alleged of inflating its FY 2012-13 first quarter earnings.[57] The Securities and Exchange Commission later formed a panel to look into its irregularities.[7] Earlier in an investigation, the Dhaka Stock Exchange found anomalies in preparing financial statements by United Airways.[7] It also detected a manipulative trading pattern by an individual investor to create artificial demand for the airline shares.[7] The carrier falsified its first quarter earnings' report to show positive earnings per share.[7] United Airways later admitted that it did not show deferred tax in its financial statement.[58]

In April 2014, CAAB threatened to suspend the carrier's operations due to outstanding aeronautical and non-aeronautical fees of around BDT 770 million.[59][60] The regulator also imposed a ban on sale or purchase of aircraft by United Airways until it clears all current and outstanding charges in the next one year.[59] CAAB also criticized the airline for not making payments on-time in the past.[59] Following an order from the High Court, CAAB temporarily renewed the airline's AOC.[47]

In July 2014, safety and maintenance standards were seriously questioned following the nose gear collapse of an ATR 72 in Cox's Bazar Airport.[47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "United Airways Fleet Details and History". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Annual Report (2012-2013)". United Airways. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Cash crunch downs United Airways". The Daily Star. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Our offices United Airways. Retrieved on 2 March 2010.
  5. ^ a b Takeoff for Bangladesh’s second private passenger airline. Khaleej Times. 10 July 2007.
  6. ^ a b "United Airways to expand flights overseas". The Daily Star. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "SEC forms panel to look into United Airways' anomalies". The Daily Star. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "United Airways News and Events". United Airways. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d "United Airways resumes operations". The Daily Star. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c "Hit by funds crunch, United Airways suspends flights from Thursday". bdnews24.com. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Bangladesh's United Airways suspends operations". Ch-aviation. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "United Airways Introduction and History". United Airways. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "United Airways starts journey". The Daily Star. 11 July 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "United Airways flies to Cox's Bazar, Jessore". The Daily Star. 8 September 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "Barisal misses air links on United's flight suspension". The Daily Star. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "United Airways to fly beyond border today". The Daily Star. 24 September 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "United makes London debut". The Daily Star. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "United flies to Dubai from July". The Daily Star. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "United spreads wings to KL today". The Daily Star. 21 December 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  20. ^ "United Airways take off to 3 overseas destinations in July". The Daily Star. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  21. ^ "United launches Jeddah flight from July 29". The Daily Star. 11 July 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  22. ^ a b "United Airways widens wings". The Daily Star. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  23. ^ "United Airways to connect Bangkok". The Daily Star. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  24. ^ "United Airways to connect Muscat". The Daily Star. 25 December 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  25. ^ "United Airways launches Chitttagong-Kolkata flight". The New Age. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  26. ^ "United Airways resumes Dhaka-Bangkok flights". The Bangladesh Monitor. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  27. ^ "United Airways plans more flights on domestic, regional routes". The Financial Express. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  28. ^ "United Airways gets new aircraft to offer better service". The Financial Express. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  29. ^ a b "Private sector airlines yet to be allowed to construct hangars". The Bangladesh Monitor. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  30. ^ "United Airways to introduce Dhaka-Singapore flights". Daily Sun. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  31. ^ "United Airways launches Dhaka-Ishwardi flight". Dhaka Mirror. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  32. ^ "United Airways starts operations to Doha". The Bangladesh Monitor. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  33. ^ a b "United Airways to start Dhaka-Karachi flight Sept 27". The Financial Express. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  34. ^ "United will retain market share, expand operation". The Bangladesh Monitor. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  35. ^ "United Airways to buy four Jetstream aircraft". The Daily Star. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  36. ^ "United Airways chairman resigns; high-ups reshuffled". The Daily Star. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  37. ^ "United Airways Chairman Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury resigns". bdnews24.com. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  38. ^ "Grounded United Airways torments domestic, international flyers". bdnews24.com. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  39. ^ "Uncertainty grips retail shareholders of United Airways". The Daily Star. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  40. ^ "United Airways flights resume". bdnews24.com. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  41. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "United Airways Flight Schedule". United Airways. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  42. ^ "United Airways starts twice-weekly service to London (Gatwick)". World Airline News. 7 December 2009. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. 
  43. ^ "United Airways unveils in-flight magazine". The Daily Star. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  44. ^ "United Airways aircraft narrowly escapes accident". The Daily Star. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  45. ^ "United Airways plane makes emergency landing in Ctg". The Daily Star. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  46. ^ "United Airways Fleet Information". United Airways. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  47. ^ a b c "Safety flaws pose risk". The Daily Star. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  48. ^ "Plane lost windshield in mid-air". The Daily Star. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  49. ^ "Accident: United Airways ATR72 near Dhaka on Aug 13th 2012, windshield completely blown out". The Aviation Herald. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  50. ^ Accident description for S2-AFN at the Aviation Safety Network
  51. ^ "Accident: United Airways AT72 at Coxs Bazar on Jul 20th 2014, nose gear collapse". The Aviation Herald. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  52. ^ a b c d e "A close shave". The Daily Star. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  53. ^ a b "Court orders Bangladesh's United Airways to repaint fleet". Flightglobal. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  54. ^ "UK Court Backs United Airlines in Trademark Ruling". Aviation News International Online. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  55. ^ "United Airways Ordered to Change its Brand". Asia IP. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  56. ^ "United Airlines takes on United Airways – Can we guess the victor?". Airlinereporter.com. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  57. ^ "United Airways inflates first quarter earnings". The Daily Star. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  58. ^ "DSE seeks regulator's advice on United Airways' revised EPS estimate". The Financial Express. 18 November 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  59. ^ a b c "United Airways in trouble". The Daily Star. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  60. ^ "United Airways saves licence paying Tk 10 mln". bdnews24.com. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 

External links[edit]