Seeing a newspaper story about Air Asia given permission to fly in/out of Bangladesh, I was thrilled by the headline. But when I read the article, I discovered that they will be given permission to fly only to Chittagong, not Dhaka.
This really sucks. Between Thai, Singapore, Emirates and British Airways (plus a few others) the higher-priced airlines have the Bangladesh market locked up. I have heard, for example, the DAC->BKK->DAC route is the most profitable route in the world for Thai Airways. At USD 660 Roundtrip, this route and similar ones for SQ, etc, are juicy juicy plums. I am sure mainstream airlines are lobbying hard to keep the budget airlines out.
The fact that not a single budget airline serves ZIA says a lot, doesn't it? GMG was offering some good prices on their two or three overseas routes, but then they took a hit and shut down their foreign operations. It just seems like Dhaka passengers are destined to keep paying high prices for their overseas flights :-(
UPDATE Oct 29, 2008: GMG announced yesterday they are resuming flights to KL and Kathmandu. Hopefully lower fuel prices will help them along.