Crowley Asks Secretary LaHood to Protect Vital JFK-Dhaka Routes

Feb 18, 2009 Issues: Foreign Affairs,

Washington, D.C. —Congressman Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) has asked newly sworn-in Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to protect Biman Bangladesh Airline’s access to New York’s J.F.K. International Airport in order to sustain important business and cultural links between New York and Bangladesh.  Prior to his post as Transportation Secretary, former Congressman LaHood served as co-chair of the Bangladesh Caucus with Congressman Crowley.  Full text of Congressman Crowley’s letter to Secretary LaHood is included below.

“Eliminating the NYC to Dhaka routes would hurt New York’s large and thriving Bangladeshi community,” stated Congressman Crowley. “I congratulate my friend and former co-chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Bangladesh Caucus on his new post as U.S. Transportation Secretary and look forward to working with him to protect this important business and cultural link between New York and Bangladesh.”

Congressman Crowley is the founder and chair of the House Representatives Bangladesh Caucus and member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
 

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Full Text of Congressman Crowley’s Letter to Secretary LaHood Regarding JFK-Dhaka Routes

February 12, 2009.

Secretary Ray LaHood
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Dear Secretary LaHood,

Congratulations on your appointment to serve as President Obama’s Secretary of Transportation.  I wish you the best of luck in this new chapter in your distinguished career and I looking forward to continuing to work together. 

As the founder and chair of the House of Representatives Bangladesh Caucus, and a member of the New York Congressional delegation with direct constituent interests in New York’s J.F.K. International Airport, I was concerned to learn that Biman Bangladesh Airlines may lose its arrival and departure slots at J.F.K. International Airport.  Eliminating those routes would be detrimental to New York’s large Bangladeshi community, which relies on flights to and from Dhaka, and to the burgeoning business relationships between United States and Bangladeshi companies. 

Due to cost concerns and an aging fleet, Biman has had to temporarily suspend operations to New York.  My understanding is that Biman recently upgraded its fleet of aircraft with the purchase of Boeing 777s, 787s, and 737s. Biman and Boeing are working diligently to find adequate aircraft to reestablish flights to JFK, and this service should be restored in the near future. Biman’s new acquisitions and conscientious efforts to restore service signal a strong commitment to U.S.-Bangladesh relations and a desire to continue serving the New York and Dhaka communities.  Retaining Biman’s arrival and departure slots will sustain the important business and cultural links between New York and Bangladesh.

I appreciate your consideration of this issue, which is very important to my constituents and the New York business community. 

Sincerely,

Joseph Crowley
Member of Congress