Thursday, November 30

Bangladesh Biman plans big to fly to more destinations



Biman Bangladesh Airlines has worked out a plan to resume flight operations on some of its closed routes along with opening new ones after inducting new aircraft into its fleet, reports UNB.

According to sources at the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry and Biman, the national flag carrier has decided to resume its operations on Dhaka-Delhi-Dhaka and Dhaka-Hong Kong-Dhaka routes in the upcoming winter season.

It also decided to start its operation on Dhaka-Guangzhou (China)- Dhaka, Dhaka-Colombo (Sri Lanka)-Dhaka and Dhaka-Male (The Maldives)-Dhaka routes during the upcoming winter. Biman also has the plan to start its flight operations on Dhaka-Narita (Japan)-Dhaka route after having suitable aircraft and completion of a commercial feasibility study during the winter season.

The airliner is also in a process to resume its much-awaited Dhaka-New York-Dhaka route in the summer season in 2017 if the Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB) is upgraded to category-1.

As per its fleet plan, the sources said, Biman has a plan to operate its flights to Sydney, Jakarta, Toronto and Madras in phases, the sources said.

Biman is currently operating flights on seven domestic and 15 international routes of the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Biman has four Boeing 777-300 ERs, two Boeing 777-200 ERs, two Airbus A310-300s, four Boeing 737-800s and two Dash-8 in its fleet.

The national flag carrier is also in a move to induct at least two Boeing aircraft in its fleet under dry lease (only aircraft) system for 60 months with a view to expanding its fleet and tackle the shortage of its aircraft after phasing out of decades-old two Airbus aircraft.

According to the Biman officials involved in the corporate planning, they will try to get two more aircraft and one 777-300ER if they find 777-200 or 777-200ER.

If the two 777-200 or 777-200ER are not available, then Biman will induct another 737-800 along with one 777-300ER.

One 777-200/777-200ER/777-300ER will be pressed into service in between March and June while another 777-200/777-200ER in between November and December.

If the airliner takes the 737-800 it will be put in operation in between March and June.

The seat capacity of the 777-200/777-200ER will be 280 in two classes while 419 for the 777-300 ER and 162 for the 737-800 in two classes. The age of the aircraft must not be more than 15 years.

“These aircraft will be used after the phasing out of the two Airbus 310-300 from its fleet,” a Biman official said.

In 2008, the national flag carrier went into an agreement with the US company for procuring 10 new generation aircraft — four Boeing 777-300ERs, two Boeing 737-800 and four Boeing 787 Dream-liner.

Boeing has already delivered four 777-300ER and two 737-800 aircraft to the Biman.