Biman struggles to maintain flight schedule
The authorities of Biman Bangladesh Airlines yesterday cancelled two of its international flights and changed timetable of all its flights even three or four times in last two days.
Biman officials said the flight schedule of the airlines almost collapsed in the recent days due to technical glitches and scarcity of aircraft, causing untold sufferings to its passengers.
"Despite cancelling flights on several routes, the airlines is frequently failing to maintain its flight schedule as two or three planes of its five aircraft can be kept operative a day," a Biman official said.
The passengers waiting for departure suffered terribly during the long stay at the airport.
The alarming thing is that Biman aircrafts are flying without ensuring proper security measures and without giving the planes proper rest due to its shortage.
"You will be astonished to know that the one of the two bleed air systems of my aircraft is not working now but I will have to fly for the destination within a few hours. It involves risk to the passengers," a Biman pilot told The Daily Star last night.
Amidst the schedule chaos, Biman recently suspended two of its international routes--Delhi and Bangkok. Yesterday it cancelled two international flights to Rome and Hong Kong.
Officials said the national flag carrier earlier had to abandon seven of its international routes, which include New York, Yangoon, Mumbai, Frankfurt, Orly (Paris), Brussels, Manchester and reduce flight frequencies on five profitable international routes like Riyadh, Jeddah, Kuwait, London and Rome, Biman officials said.
"We are flying aircraft without giving them proper rest, which is also a threat to the aircraft as well as to the passengers," a pilot of DC10-30 aircraft told The Daily Star last night.
"On an average, we use our 20 to 30 years old aircraft for 15-16 hours per day, without giving them proper rest," said the pilot wishing not to be named, adding, "t should be used for 10-11 hours per day."
An official said a Riyadh-bound Biman flight was scheduled to fly at 12:15am Saturday. But the schedule was changed to 10:30am yesterday and again to 2:00 last night.
"I am not sure whether the fresh timetable would be maintained or not," added the Biman official.
Abdul Mamdud Khan, General Manager (central control), told The Daily Star that situation will not improve unless Biman gets more aircraft to its fleet.