DHAKA (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that Bangladesh had committed to order ten A350 jets from Airbus, in what represents the first contract between the European aircraft manufacturer and Dhaka.

The agreement, still being finalized, concerns the national carrier of Bangladesh, Biman Bangladesh Airlines.

“I thank you for the choice of confidence for European aeronautics and the commitment to these ten Airbus A350s is an important point”, welcomed Emmanuel Macron to journalists, after a meeting with the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines has a fleet of more than twenty aircraft, mostly Boeings, more than half of which are wide-bodies and a few Dash-8 turboprops.

The initial offer was for two Airbus planes, according to Bangladeshi Civil Aviation Minister Mahbub Ali.

“We have requested ten planes in stages. The technical committee is currently evaluating. These planes will be used on new and old routes. Every country has Airbus and Boeing in its fleet. But we only have Boeing , not a single Airbus,” he said.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines flies to twenty destinations around the world, including Britain, Malaysia, Thailand and Canada.

(Reporting by Michel Rose; Zhifan Liu, editing by Blandine Hénault)

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