Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi believes Bangladesh's economic growth and progress is reflected by the fact that more people can now afford to travel by air.
The minister joined aviation industry representatives and stakeholders at an event marking the 10th founding anniversary of NovoAir in Dhaka on Tuesday.
NovoAir also announced that it would soon be adding two Airbus aircraft to its fleet.
"People can now afford to fly in airplanes. Today, there are 16-17 flights per day to Syedpur in the north. Whenever I get on a flight, I ask about the number of passengers onboard. They usually say that the flights are at 90-92 percent capacity, sometimes 100 percent full," said Munshi.
“This is also a reflection of our economy and the country that Bangabandhu [Sheikh Mujibur Rahman] dreamed of -- a developed, modern, non-communal and progressive Bangladesh.”
However, the minister was also wary of the challenges facing the aviation sector.
“I often ask [the NovoAir founders] when I meet them about whether they were making a profit. I am always concerned that they might shut down if the business is not profitable.
“They say that they'll continue to operate flights even it may not be profitable. My request to NovoAir is that they expand their reach outside the country.”
Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, lauded NovoAir for operating its flights in "100% compliance" with safety regulations.
Addressing the event, NovoAir Chairman Fayzur Rahman said, “Our journey started with the promise of providing world class services. We have never compromised on the quality of our passenger service and are constantly trying to increase it by adding new services."