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Middle Eastern low-cost services?

A new airline hopes to offer low-cost long-haul flights to various Asian and Middle Eastern destinations from the UK by the summer.

Air Sylhet said that it plans to provide passengers flights from London, Birmingham and Manchester to Dhaka in Bangladesh six times a week.

A provisional timetable on the airline's website has flights leaving Birmingham on Mondays and Fridays, Manchester on Thursdays and Sundays and London on Tuesdays and Saturday.

The website also outlines an ambitious expansion plan for the airline. A statement from the company read: "We expect to operate ten aircrafts by the end of year two.

"We are aiming for destinations of up to 5,000 miles range to ensure we can operate each way with a single crew, with each aircraft completing a full out and back rotation within 24 hours."

The site also claims that the airline is hoping to offer services to Mumbai and New Delhi in India and Islamabad and Karachi in Pakistan, as well as other destinations.

However, the airline's chairman, Shah Shahin Choudhury, told the Birmingham Post that the company would first be focusing on routes to Bangladesh.

"The demand is significant but the present routes are difficult, rarely direct and frequently expensive," he explained to the paper.

"Our business is based on low-cost long-haul principles offering a daily service on new, modern Boeing 767 aircraft carrying up to 289 passengers."

Tony Hill

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Tony Hill