Betting that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will shortly upgrade Bangladesh to Category 1 IASA status, Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG, Dhaka) has applied to the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) for rights to fly its own aircraft on the country pair, starting with B787-9s on the Dhaka - New York JFK route.

The September 1 filing requests a foreign air carrier's permit to initially fly five roundtrips a week on the city pair via Izmir Adnan Menderes in Türkiye. The application states the flights will carry a combination of passengers, cargo, and mail. Biman's B787-9s are configured to carry 298 passengers, including 30 in business class, 21 in premium economy, and 247 in economy, plus 15 tonnes of cargo and mail.

The airline is also eyeing starting flights to Boston, Houston Intercontinental, Los Angeles International, Washington Dulles, Dallas/Fort Worth, and New York Newark. While not stating any planned start dates, these services would operate under the existing air services agreement between Bangladesh and the US and the proposed foreign air operator's permit. None of these flights would run nonstop. Instead, Biman flags intermediary stops at various airports, including Abu Dhabi International, Delhi International, Brussels National, Manchester International, Rome Fiumicino, Birmingham, GB, Istanbul Airport, Izmir, Delhi International, and Amsterdam Schiphol.

Biman notes no airline currently flies directly between Bangladesh and the US and, in its application, says "granting a permit to Biman will, without question, promote fair competition in the marketplace [...] and facilitate the expansion of fair international air transport opportunities in the public interest."

The Bangladeshi carrier previously had permission to operate flights on the country pair using wet-leased aircraft and, for a period, did so into New York JFK. This was to get around the FAA's Category 2 classification. However, Biman says the FAA and the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) are now working to upgrade the classification to Category One, allowing the airline to use its aircraft on routes into the US. The start of these flights is contingent on that happening.

"Biman specifically requests that no formal decision be issued by DOT until the FAA formally upgrades Bangladesh to Category 1 status so that Biman can use its own aircraft in the requested operations," the filing reads.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines presently operates 21 aircraft to 20 international (Oceania, and seven domestic destinations from Dhaka. In addition to two B787-9s, the airline flies four B787-8s, four B777-300ERs, six B737-800s, and five DHC-8-Q400s. The filing reveals Biman resumed services to Tokyo Narita on September 1 and will launch flights to Guangzhou on September 14 and Chennai from October 19. In addition, the filing shows the airline intends to start flights to Rome and Sydney Kingsford Smith over the next twelve months.