Biman Bangladesh Airlines will fly three times a week from Manchester to the Bangladeshi capital and Sylhet it has been announced.

The news was announced at a special event at the British High Commission in Dhaka, attended by the Chairman- Biman Bangladesh Board of Directors, Manchester airport CEO Andrew Cowan and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

Biman will use a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route, which will start on January 4 2020, and will operate via the eastern Bangladeshi city of Sylhet on its return from Manchester.

There are more than 55,000 people a year who currently travel from Manchester Airport’s catchment to Dhaka and Syhlet, with around 600,000 people travelling to destinations in Biman’s onward network.

Speaking from Dhaka, Mr Cowan said: “We have known for some time there is significant demand for a direct service to Bangladesh and so we are delighted to be confirming this news today.

“Manchester Airport is the UK’s gateway to the north of England and within our catchment area there are many long-standing Bangladeshi communities for whom this will make a massive difference.

“We know there are many northern companies with a desire to trade in Bangladesh, while we also look forward to welcoming business and leisure visitors from that part of the world.

“This long haul route is the latest we have added to Manchester in recent years, as we continue to work hard to connect the north to key international destinations.”

Andy Burnham said: “It is a great boost for this inaugural Greater Manchester visit to Bangladesh to achieve this new service.

"A direct connection between Manchester and Bangladesh will bring many trade, cultural and educational benefits and as well as being hugely valued by the many families of Bangladesh heritage living in Greater Manchester and across the North. I intend to keep building Greater Manchester’s relationship with Bangladesh over the coming years so our friends from Biman can rest assured we will do all we can to promote and support this vital route.”

The flight will operate on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday taking just 10 hours. The 787 Dreamliner will have 24 seats in business class and 247 in economy.

The Greater Manchester delegation started in Sylhet on Thursday, then moved to Dhaka will move on to Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.

More than 30 leaders from the world’s of academia, healthcare, business and tourism are taking April, with a series of deals and partnership expected to be made.

Coun Abdul Jabbar, deputy leader of Oldham Council, who is also part of the delegation, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Biman Bangladesh will be operating this direct flight from Manchester. It will be an extremely convenient service for the many people of Bangladeshi heritage living in the North West of England.

“I want to congratulate everyone concerned, especially Manchester Airport for adding this excellent service to its route network. Biman Bangladesh can be assured we will do all we can to support the route and ensure it goes from strength to strength.”

Biman Bangladesh Airlines is the national flag carrier airline of Bangladesh.