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British Airways ends direct flights to Bangladesh.

Byline: AFP(AFP)

DHAKA: British Airways ended its direct flights between the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka and London Saturday because the 34-year-old route was no longer profitable, the carrier said.

The airline suspended the three-times-a-week service as it had not made "a profitable contribution to our business for some time."

The first Dhaka to London service was in January 1975, according to BA, and was operated on a VC10 aircraft. Initially the route was only once a week.

British woman Usha Mistry, who lives in Dhaka and was among the 233 passengers on the last London-bound flight, told AFP she would miss the direct route.

"I travel home every couple of months to see my children. Now I ll have to change over in the Middle East," she said.

The Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh had urged BA to change its mind after the airline said in November it would suspend the service but had been unsuccessful in its pleas, according to Dhaka-based English-language The Daily Star.

Global passenger volumes in February nosedived 10.1 percent below levels recorded a year earlier, the airline industry association IATA said this week.

Airlines in South Asia have been hit hard by the global economic downturn, with Sri Lanka s national airline this week cutting half its flights to India in a bid to reduce losses.

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2009

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Mar 30, 2009
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