Biman Bangladesh, formerly Air Bangladesh International, was set up in January 1972 as the flag carrier of Bangladesh. A month after its inception, the airlines took off its inaugural domestic flights from Dhaka to Chittagong, Jessore and Sylhet. The international operations of Biman commenced with a weekly flight to London in March 1972. By the end of the year, Biman had carried over 380,000 passengers on 1,079 flights. Once wholly-owned by the Bangladesh government, Biman was converted into a public sector corporation that was led by a government-appointed board of directors in 1977. In 2007 however, it was transformed into a public limited company that turned out to be the largest of its kind in Bangladesh. Within the three decades of its launch, the airlines had increased its operations to 26 international routes worldwide. However, services to some of the destinations were discontinued in 2006 due to financial problems. Today, Biman Bangladesh offers services to 16 countries in Asia and Europe.