Start-up airline Air Astra plans to take off for its inaugural domestic passenger flight between Dhaka (DAC) and Cox’s Bazar (CXB) on November 24, 2022, according to Bangladesh Minister of Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali.
“Air Astra’s launch has enhanced the choice of domestic routes for passengers. I believe domestic airlines will establish positive competition and cooperation, which will be helpful for passengers. I hope Air Astra will operate their flights by maintaining passenger service quality and safety,” Dhaka Tribune quoted the minister as saying during the airline’s event on November 15, 2022.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) granted Air Astra, which was founded in 2021, its air operator’s certificate (AOC) on November 3, 2022.
Air Astra, which is the newest privately-owned commercial airline in Bangladesh, plans to operate three weekly flights between Dhaka (DAC), and Cox’s Bazar (CXB) and two weekly services on the Dhaka (DAC) – Chattogram (CGP) route. The carrier expects to gradually begin to expand its network three months after the initial launch, with additional domestic destinations such as Saidpur (SPD) and Sylhet (ZYL).
According to Planespotters.com data, having recently acquired two ATR 72-600 twin-engine turboprops registered S2-STB and S2-STC in October 2022, Air Astra is currently waiting for delivery of two additional aircraft of the type which are due to join the carrier in early 2023.
Air Astra plans to increase its current fleet to a total of 10 planes by the end of 2023.