Biman ready to resume flights to New York
Biman is all set to resume its Dhaka-New York flight on June 4 as part of its effort to make the carrier profitable, said its Managing Director Kevin Steele yesterday.
Biman will lease two aircraft from EgyptAir for five years to resume the flight, subject to approval of the state-run airline's board, he added.
The lease agreement will be signed in five days, he said.
“The first aircraft will arrive in February and the second in March.”
There will be two flights a week on the route, which remained suspended since July 2006 due to financial losses and a serious shortage of aircraft, Steele said.
Tickets for the flight, which will have a stopover in Birmingham, will be available from the first half of February, he said.
Steele spoke to reporters at a monthly press briefing at his office in Dhaka.
The carrier will also start flying to a number of new destinations this summer, including Guangzhou, Kunming and Guwahati, he said.
Biman's Frankfurt route will start in April with twice weekly flights via Rome and ticket sales will begin in a few days, Steele added.
Biman will receive a Boeing airplane on February 5 and another one will join the fleet by the third week of March, he said. “Our last DC 10 will be flying to Birmingham from Dhaka on February 20.”
“Before then, we will have a ceremony on the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport ramp with the DC 10 alongside our new Boeing, sometime between February 9 and 12.”
The resumption of operations on seven routes is facing a further delay due to a failure to lease two turboprop aircraft, he said.
“Our last request for two turboprop aircraft was not successful, thus delaying the start of domestic operations until April at least.”
“One of our aircraft faced some technical problems and the comprehensive repair will take another three-four days.”
“Biman will be implementing even more customer service enhancements in the next couple of months.”
It will implement a complete new menu coupled with new cabin crew routines, duty-free products, pre-reserved seating, special meals and some new products and services, he said.
He ruled out the corruption allegations against himself and high officials of the airline.
“It is disappointing to note that a tiny percentage of the press are making slanderous accusations against myself for corrupt practices in the selection of GSAs (general sales agents), which are completely untrue.”
“I wrote to the Anti Corruption Commission about some officials' corruption.” However, he did not disclose any more.