Fly Dhaka, a Bangladeshi start-up, applied for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh as it plans to launch operations with a fleet of ATR72-600s.

The carrier is backed by a number of businesspeople and is entirely privately owned. Among the backers is Anisul Islam Mahmud, the former minister of finance and environment of Bangladesh. He told the Business Post, a business publication in Bangladesh, that the start-up would only reveal details about its proposed business model once it has completed certification.

Fly Dhaka will proceed with its certification alongside Air Astra, which plans to commence operations in early 2022, also using ATR72-600s. Air Astra has also begun its certification with an application for a NOC having been submitted on September 21.

If both airlines succeed in entering the market, they will double the number of active privately-owned carriers in Bangladesh. Currently, the pool comprises exclusively NovoAir and US-Bangla Airlines, alongside state-owned Biman Bangladesh Airlines. Privately-owned Regent Airways remains a functioning company but suspended all operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.