: The Civil Aviation Law 2017 of Bangladesh has a strange clause, which is yet to be made public as well as applied. Perhaps no such law existed in the aviation world.
In the second chapter of the law as found in the website of the Ministry of Law concerning certificate, license and permit etc, clause four is the questionable provision. It says that any foreign airline willing to provide commercial aviation services in Bangladesh, must appoint an organisation, owned 100 per cent by Bangladeshi national and registered in Bangladesh, as single sales agent.
This provision of law is a sort of dictate or order on the foreign airlines willing to start commercial aviation services in Bangladesh regarding "how to do business".
In some countries in the Middle East and Gulf there was provision of having local partner to do business. In most cases they were sleeping partners and happy to get some share of the business.
In Bangladesh market, there is no such restriction up till now. Some airlines have local sales agents some have not. There are foreign airlines that have discarded local General Sales Agents and operating services directly with own local offices.
It is interesting to note that this clause is the part of law No- 18 of 2017 and enacted on 19 July. But no one is aware of the existence of such a provision in the law. The foreign airlines do not know it and Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism (MOCAT) has never made it public or try to apply it.
It is difficult to understand the purpose of this law. Commercial aviation is business and how MOCAT can impose such provision on the operating foreign airlines?
According to insiders in the trade this kind of provision in the law will not be acceptable to the foreign airlines operating to Bangladesh and effort to impose it likely to destabilise the market.