Biman Bangladesh Airlines resumes its flights to Frankfurt of Germany today, almost seven years after the national carrier suspended its loss-making operation on the route.
It will operate flights twice a week on Friday and Saturday to this newest destination via Rome with brand new Boeing 777-300 ER of 419 seats. Frankfurt will be the 19th overseas destination of the carrier.
Biman in a press release yesterday said the operation had been suspended due to aircraft constraint. However, sources in the airlines said flights to Frankfurt had been discontinued because of poor passenger loads.
Statistics show that from 2003 until the suspension in 2006, only 55 passengers flew on average on each flight.
“Initially most seats will be sold to and from Rome. Frankfurt needs better connectivity to Bangkok, Kathmandu, China etc, which will happen over the next year,” Biman's Managing Director Kevin John Steele told The Daily Star.
The break-even load factor on this route is 70 percent of the seats, he said.
Therefore, the airlines will not be making loss if flights carry at least 294 passengers. Biman sources said the management reopened the route without any market survey.
Frankfurt came under Biman's wings in 1986 and the service continued for more than 19 years at a stretch till 2006.
The German ambassador to Bangladesh will inaugurate the opening flight at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka through a simple ceremony.
The flight, scheduled to leave Dhaka for Frankfurt at 10:00am today, is set to carry revenue passengers, travel agents, businessmen, journalists, special guests and top Biman officials.
Flight BG 055 will leave Dhaka on Friday and Monday at 10:00am and arrive in Frankfurt at 1840 local time. Flight BG 056 will leave Frankfurt at 2010 local time to reach Dhaka at 13:00 local time the same day.