CEO MF Akbar expresses optimism

Regent Airways all set to emerge as truly international airline

A Monitor Report 01 Aug, 2017  |    -      +
DHAKA : Regent Airways is all set for expansion of routes and frequencies- domestic and international and strengthening of its fleet and brand image to emerge as a truly international airline.

Lt Gen MF Akbar ndc, psc (Retd), Adviser, Habib Group and CEO, Regent Airways said this while talking to The Bangladesh Monitor at the expanded premises of HG Aviation Ltd at Uttara Model Town in the city recently.

It's over seven years. We need to grow up. We are no more a domestic or regional airline. We need to do things now in a different manner, said Akbar.

In the days ahead, Regent Airways hopes to add Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Sharjah in the Middle East, Paro, Chennai, Colombo, Male in the South Asian sub-continent, Bali in Indonesia, Ghuanhzhou in China and Seoul in South Korea.

Regent Airways will soon be receiving an Airbus A330 and a B737-800 in September.

At present, its fleet consists of six aircrafts- two Dash-8-Q300 aircraft which are maintained to European standards, two Boeing B737-700 and two Boeing B737-800 next Generation aircraft which was awarded type certification by the FAA of US.

The airline currently serves Chittagong and Cox's Bazar and internationally flies to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Kolkata, Muscat, Kathmandu and Doha.

We have always launched new routes and others have followed, said Akbar.

I see growth prospects. If Properly run, there's no reason that airlines should not grow, as aviation, industry is growing at a rate double that of country's GDP, he said.

The airline began commercial flight operations since November 10, 2010 using its own fleet of two Canadian-built Bombardier Dash-8-Q300 aircraft, each seating 50 passengers in a single-class layout. The aircraft is known for its exceptional reliability and passenger comfort. The airline hopes to serve Jessore soon with refurbished Dash-8-Q300 and Sylhet, a few months later.

To grow, we need support from the government in the form of less taxes as well as facilities in other fields, he said. The government should comprehend the impact of aviation, including job creation.

He also called for cooperation among local carriers to stop everyone from bleeding. If we can complement each other's services, we will have an impact on international market share too.

Look at RMG. They cooperate as well as compete, he added.

Recruitment

To meet its manpower requirements, specially of cabin crew, the airline has recruited and is training a number of youths.

Mohd Khairul Haq Rumy, AGM, Cabin Service Dep-artment, Reg-ent Airways said safety and security of passengers and aircraft are paramount for an airline. So, we select youths accordingly. We look into their family background, height, physical appearance and language proficiency.

We take aptitude test, general knowledge test. We then call for group discussions, how they interact, how they conduct and conclude the discussion. We also see whether they are medically fit. On completion of all the tests, the candidates have to face the CEO for a one-on-one interview.

Once selected, they have to undergo a 12-week training course, which includes how to treat medical emergencies on board the aircraft, how to administer oxygen, how to extinguish fire, should it break out with Halon extinguisher.

Even after they are allowed to serve in aircraft, they have to undergo refresher courses from time to time.

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