United Airways

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United Airways (BD) Ltd.
ইউনাইটেড এয়ারওয়েজ
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded28 June 2005[2]
Commenced operations2007
Ceased operations2016
HubsShahjalal International Airport
Secondary hubsShah Amanat International Airport Osmani International Airport
Fleet size11
Company sloganFly Your Own Airline
Parent companyTAC Aviations
Headquarters1, Jasimuddin Avenue, Uttara Tower, Uttara, Dhaka-1230, Bangladesh
Employees1,000 (2014)[3]

United Airways (BD) Ltd. (DSEUNITEDAIR, CSEUNITEDAIR ), operated as United Airways (Bengali: ইউনাইটেড এয়ারওয়েজ), was[4] a Bangladeshi airline headquartered in Uttara, Dhaka.[5] It operated 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.[6] United Airways was the first listed company in the aviation sector of Bangladesh;[7][8] it became listed in July 2010.[2]

The airline was often criticised for their poor service due to frequent delays, flight suspensions and poor in-flight amenities.[9][10] In September 2014, the airline temporarily suspended its operations for three days following a conflict among its board of directors and a financial crisis.[3][11][12][13] The airline ceased all operations on 6 March 2016, after a previous gap in service from mid-January to 24 February of that year.[14]


United Airways (Bangladesh) Limited, was founded by Captain Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury, a British-Bangladeshi businessmen from the Sylhet region of Bangladesh, 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.[6][15] 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.[16] After few months, domestic flights to Cox's Bazar,[17] Jessore,[17] and Barisal[18] started, along with international service to Kolkata from Dhaka and Chittagong.[19] Another Dash 8–100 was delivered in 2008.

In 2009, the airline received a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft, and launched flights to London,[20] Dubai,[21] Kuala Lumpur[22] and Kathmandu.[23]

In 2010, it commenced flights to Jeddah,[24] and launched the lucrative Sylhet-London flight with an Airbus A310-300,[25] while an ATR 72–200[25] 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[26] 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.[27][28][29]

In 2013, it added two McDonnell Douglas MD-83[30] and an ATR 72–200.[31][32] It launched flights to Singapore and domestic flights to Ishwardi.[33][34]

In 2014, the carrier launched flights to Doha in May.[35] The airline was scheduled to commence flights to Karachi[13][36]

On 24 September 2014 evening, United Airways temporarily suspended all domestic and international flights.[3][12][13] A conflict of interest among board members was the reason for the short suspension.[11] 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.[37][38] More than two thousand passengers were stranded in Bangladesh and abroad because of flight cancellations;[11][39] international flights to Doha, Muscat and Kuala Lumpur from Dhaka did not leave.[12] The suspension also affected the investors of the listed company, as stock prices fell by 7.63 percent at Dhaka Stock Exchange.[40] However, on 27 September, three days after the suspension, the carrier resumed operations with a domestic flight following a consensus among board members.[11][41]

The airline ceased all operations on 6 March 2016. As of that date, all nine of its aircraft were reportedly grounded for technical reasons.[14]


In June 2011, a court in London had ordered United Airways to repaint its fleet and change its name in the UK after a legal action was taken by American carrier United Airlines.[42][43] Lawyers for United Airlines said that United Airways had "illegally violated" its trademark and "wrongly associated its services with" those of the American airline.[44][45] The problem arose when United Airways had services to London Gatwick Airport, which may have confused passengers flying with United Airlines.[42]

In November 2012, United Airways was alleged of inflating its FY 2012–13 first quarter earnings.[46] The Securities and Exchange Commission later formed a panel to look into its irregularities.[8] Earlier in an investigation, the Dhaka Stock Exchange found anomalies in preparing financial statements by United Airways.[8] It also detected a manipulative trading pattern by an individual investor to create artificial demand for the airline shares.[8] The carrier falsified its first quarter earnings' report to show positive earnings per share.[8] United Airways later admitted that it did not show deferred tax in its financial statement.[47]

In April 2014, CAAB threatened to suspend the carrier's operations due to outstanding aeronautical and non-aeronautical fees of around BDT 770 million.[48][49] 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.[48] CAAB also criticised the airline for not making payments on-time in the past.[48] Following an order from the High Court, CAAB temporarily renewed the airline's AOC.[50]


United Airways ATR 72-200
United Airways Bombardier Dash 8–100

United Airways served the following destinations (as of August 2015):[51]

City Country Airport Notes Refs
Bangkok  Thailand Suvarnabhumi Airport [51]
Barisal  Bangladesh Barisal Airport Terminated [51]
Chittagong  Bangladesh Shah Amanat International Airport Secondary hub [51]
Cox's Bazar  Bangladesh Cox's Bazar Airport [51]
Dhaka  Bangladesh Shahjalal International Airport Hub [51]
Doha  Qatar Hamad International Airport Terminated [51]
Dubai  United Arab Emirates Dubai International Airport Terminated [51]
Ishwardi  Bangladesh Ishwardi Airport Terminated [51]
Jeddah  Saudi Arabia King Abdulaziz International Airport [51]
Jessore  Bangladesh Jessore Airport [51]
Karachi  Pakistan Jinnah International Airport Terminated [36]
Kathmandu    Nepal Tribhuvan International Airport Terminated [51]
Kolkata  India Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport [51]
Kuala Lumpur  Malaysia Kuala Lumpur International Airport [51]
London  United Kingdom Gatwick Airport Terminated [52]
Medina  Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport Terminated [51]
Muscat  Oman Muscat International Airport [51]
Rajshahi  Bangladesh Shah Makhdum Airport Terminated [51]
Saidpur  Bangladesh Saidpur Airport [51]
Singapore  Singapore Singapore Changi Airport Terminated [51]
Sylhet  Bangladesh Osmani International Airport [51]


As of September 2016, the United Airways fleet consisted of the following aircraft:[53]

United Airways Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers
Airbus A310-300 2
ATR 72-200 3
Bombardier Dash 8–100 1
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 5
Total 11

In-flight amenities[edit]

United Airways operated all economy cabin seats in all of its aircraft. In-flight meals were provided on international flights, and juices and candies were provided on domestic flights. None of its aircraft were equipped with in-flight entertainment. It had an in-flight magazine called Welcome Bangladesh.[54]

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.[55][56]
  • 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.[57] 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.[58]
  • 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.[59] The MD-83 was at a cruising altitude of about 33000 feet when ATC asked the aircraft to descend to 29000 feet.[59] While descending, at an altitude of 32000 feet, the aircraft's TCAS warned the pilots of an imminent collision with the nearby aircraft.[59] 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.[59]
  • 7 August 2015: Flight 585, a MD-83 registered S2-AEI, was performing an international flight en route to Muscat, Oman from Dhaka, Bangladesh, carrying 173 passengers, had to make an emergency landing at Raipur Airport in Chhattisgarh, India due to an engine failure in air.[60] The aircraft landed safely and everyone on board were unhurt.[61]


  1. ^ a b c "United Airways Fleet Details and History". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Annual Report (2012–2013)" (PDF). United Airways. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Cash crunch downs United Airways". The Daily Star. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  4. ^ "[1]." CAPA. Retrieved on August 25, 2018. "United Airways Profile."
  5. ^ "Our offices United Airways. Retrieved on 2 March 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Takeoff for Bangladesh's second private passenger airline". Khaleej Times. 10 July 2007.
  7. ^ "United Airways to expand flights overseas". The Daily Star. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e "SEC forms panel to look into United Airways' anomalies". The Daily Star. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  9. ^ "United Airways resumes domestic flights with 'alternative arrangement'". bdnews24.com. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  10. ^ "United Airways to resume flights". The Daily Star. 24 May 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d "United Airways resumes operations". The Daily Star. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  12. ^ a b c "Hit by funds crunch, United Airways suspends flights from Thursday". bdnews24.com. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  13. ^ a b c "Bangladesh's United Airways suspends operations". Ch-aviation. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Bangladesh's United Airways suspends operations again". Ch-aviation. 6 March 2016.
  15. ^ "United Airways Introduction and History". United Airways. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  16. ^ "United Airways starts journey". The Daily Star. 11 July 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  17. ^ a b "United Airways flies to Cox's Bazar, Jessore". The Daily Star. 8 September 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  18. ^ "Barisal misses air links on United's flight suspension". The Daily Star. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  19. ^ "United Airways to fly beyond border today". The Daily Star. 24 September 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  20. ^ "United makes London debut". The Daily Star. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  21. ^ "United flies to Dubai from July". The Daily Star. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  22. ^ "United spreads wings to KL today". The Daily Star. 21 December 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  23. ^ "United Airways take off to 3 overseas destinations in July". The Daily Star. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  24. ^ "United launches Jeddah flight from July 29". The Daily Star. 11 July 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  25. ^ a b "United Airways widens wings". The Daily Star. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  26. ^ "United Airways to connect Bangkok". The Daily Star. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  27. ^ "United Airways to connect Muscat". The Daily Star. 25 December 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  28. ^ "United Airways launches Chitttagong-Kolkata flight". New Age. Dhaka. 20 June 2012. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  29. ^ "UABL resumes Dhaka-Bangkok flights". Bangladesh Monitor. 16 August 2012. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  30. ^ "United Airways plans more flights on domestic, regional routes". The Financial Express. Dhaka. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  31. ^ "United Airways gets new aircraft to offer better service". The Financial Express. Dhaka. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  32. ^ "Private sector airlines yet to be allowed to construct hangars". The Bangladesh Monitor. 1 March 2013. Archived from the original on 23 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  33. ^ "United Airways to introduce Dhaka-Singapore flights". Daily Sun. Dhaka. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  34. ^ "United Airways launches Dhaka-Ishwardi flight". Dhaka Mirror. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  35. ^ "United Airways starts operations to Doha". The Bangladesh Monitor. 16 May 2014. Archived from the original on 21 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  36. ^ a b "United Airways to start Dhaka-Karachi flight Sept 27". The Financial Express. Dhaka. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  37. ^ "United Airways chairman resigns; high-ups reshuffled". The Daily Star. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  38. ^ "United Airways Chairman Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury resigns". bdnews24.com. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  39. ^ "Grounded United Airways torments domestic, international flyers". bdnews24.com. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  40. ^ "Uncertainty grips retail shareholders of United Airways". The Daily Star. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  41. ^ "United Airways flights resume". bdnews24.com. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  42. ^ a b "Court orders Bangladesh's United Airways to repaint fleet". Flightglobal. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  43. ^ "UK Court Backs United Airlines in Trademark Ruling". Aviation News International Online. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  44. ^ "United Airways Ordered to Change its Brand". Asia IP. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  45. ^ "United Airlines takes on United Airways – Can we guess the victor?". Airlinereporter.com. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  46. ^ "United Airways inflates first quarter earnings". The Daily Star. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  47. ^ "DSE seeks regulator's advice on United Airways' revised EPS estimate". The Financial Express. Dhaka. 18 November 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  48. ^ a b c "United Airways in trouble". The Daily Star. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  49. ^ "United Airways saves licence paying Tk 10 mln". bdnews24.com. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  50. ^ "Safety flaws pose risk". The Daily Star. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  51. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "United Airways Flight Schedule". United Airways. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  52. ^ "United Airways starts twice-weekly service to London (Gatwick)". World Airline News. 7 December 2009. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.
  53. ^ "United Airways Fleet Information". United Airways. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  54. ^ "United Airways unveils in-flight magazine". The Daily Star. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  55. ^ "Plane lost windshield in mid-air". The Daily Star. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  56. ^ "Accident: United Airways ATR72 near Dhaka on Aug 13th 2012, windshield completely blown out". The Aviation Herald. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  57. ^ Accident description for S2-AFN at the Aviation Safety Network
  58. ^ "Accident: United Airways AT72 at Coxs Bazar on Jul 20th 2014, nose gear collapse". The Aviation Herald. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  59. ^ a b c d "A close shave". The Daily Star. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  60. ^ "United Airways plane makes emergency landing in Chhattisgarh". The Daily Star. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  61. ^ "Incident: United Airways MD83 near Raipur on Aug 7th 2015, engine shut down in flight". The Aviation Herald. 8 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.

External links[edit]

Media related to United Airways at Wikimedia Commons