Switzerland and Bangladesh Sign New Air Service Agreement

Swiss and Bangladesh delegates sign air services agreement.
Photo Credit: Swiss Government

On June 4th, Switzerland and Bangladesh took a significant step towards strengthening their economic ties by signing a bilateral air service agreement.

This marks a first for the two nations and reflects Switzerland’s ongoing commitment to expanding its intercontinental connections.

Bilateral Agreement Forged

This landmark deal becomes the first of its kind between the two nations and signifies Switzerland’s commitment to forging stronger intercontinental connections.

The agreement promises to unlock a new era of economic cooperation and travel opportunities for both countries.

The agreement empowers airlines with significant operational flexibility. Unlike some restrictive agreements, this one removes limitations on the number of carriers permitted to operate flights between Switzerland and Bangladesh.

Additionally, it allows for codeshare flights, where airlines can collaborate to offer combined services under a single flight code.

This fosters competition and provides passengers with a wider range of choices and potentially more competitive fares.

Both countries stand to benefit from this flexibility, with each being granted the right to operate up to seven direct passenger and cargo flights per week.

Md Shaifuzzaman, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Boost to Tourism, Trade and Investment

Economically, this agreement is a win-win situation. Increased air traffic translates to a boost in tourism, trade, and investment for both Switzerland and Bangladesh.

Swiss businesses gain easier access to the burgeoning Bangladeshi market, while Bangladeshi exports can reach European markets more efficiently.

Tourists on both sides can now explore new destinations with greater ease, further enriching cultural exchange.

The agreement itself is a formal, non-binding treaty signed by Christian Hegner, Director of the Federal Office of Civil Aviation, in Bern on June 4th.

It had already received the green light from the Swiss Federal Council in November 2023. However, the official launch hinges on Bangladesh completing its internal formalities regarding the agreement.

For Swiss airlines to venture beyond their borders, securing traffic rights through bilateral air service agreements is crucial.

These agreements typically cover airline ownership, management, and market access. They facilitate streamlined administrative processes, allowing countries to open their skies to participating airlines.

Switzerland currently boasts a network of such agreements with over 150 countries, fostering a globally connected aviation sector.

The impetus for this agreement arose from Bangladesh’s remarkable economic growth over the past two decades.

This growth story positions Bangladesh strategically as a potential key player in the regional aviation landscape. Its geographical location along major international aviation routes further strengthens this potential.

Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bangladesh Rising as a Key Aviation Hub

Recognizing this opportunity, Bangladesh has been diligently investing in the development and modernization of its aviation infrastructure.

This includes the expansion of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport with the addition of a third terminal, alongside a new terminal and runway extensions at Cox’s Bazar Airport.

These upgrades will be instrumental in accommodating the anticipated surge in air traffic spurred by the new agreement.

The signing of this air service agreement signifies a significant step forward for both Switzerland and Bangladesh.

It paves the way for economic prosperity, fosters cultural exchange, and positions Bangladesh as a rising star in the world of aviation.

As the agreement takes effect, we can expect to see a vibrant new chapter unfold in the relationship between these two nations.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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