2015 was good for Biman | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 31, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:38 AM, December 31, 2015

2015 was good for Biman

Biman Bangladesh Airlines had a good year, turning a profit of Tk 275 crore in the first nine months of 2015.

Besides, the national flag carrier managed to carry passengers in domestic routes -- Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Sylhet, Barisal, Jessore, Rajshahi and Syedpur -- after a lapse of a couple of years, with two turbo props aircrafts (Canada-built 74-seater Dash-8 Q400) that were added to the fleet on dry lease.   

Currently, Biman flies to 15 destinations in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

"We passed a good year. We have made profit and included two aircraft in the fleet," Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon told the news agency.

He said with the new aircraft, Biman would be able to start flights in new routes. In the last two months, Biman inducted two Boeing 737-800s in its fleet.

In this connection the minister said Guangzhou, Male and Colombo are on top of the list for the new routes.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines added the new Boeing aircraft 737-800 to its fleet on December 25. This was the sixth of 10 new Boeings to the fleet of Biman. With Boeing 737-800s, Meghdoot and Mayurpankhi, the number of aircraft in Biman's fleet is now 14.

In 2008, the national flag carrier entered an agreement with the US company for acquisition of 10 new generation aircraft -- four Boeing 777-300ERs, two Boeing 737-800s and four Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Boeing has already delivered four Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to Biman.

As per the agreement Boeing is scheduled to deliver four Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft by 2019-2020.

Regard ground handling, Menon said the government decided to appoint foreign companies to operate ground handling services at the country's three international airports in a "joint venture" with Biman Bangladesh Airlines.

Currently, about 100 international flights from 18 countries and 50 flights of four domestic airliners are being handled at the Dhaka airport every day.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines is the sole authority for the job. On October 21, the government decided to appoint more agents for ground handling services at the international airports.

An independent company for ground handling, over which Biman would have no direct control, was planned in 2006. But, it did not get final approval.

According to sources, the airliner is planning to start flying to Seoul and increase the frequency of flights to Middle Eastern countries.

"A feasibility study will be done for Seoul route, while the decision to increase the frequency in Dubai route is almost final," said a senior official of Biman.

He mentioned that currently Biman is operating seven flights a week on the Dhaka-Dubai-Dhaka route, and it has plans to increase it to 14 per week.

Meanwhile, non-approval of new organogram of Biman is causing problems for the national airliner as top officials of the airline are going into retirement soon and there is no process in place to fill up the posts.

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