Biman strikes deal with Boeing in 2 weeks
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd is likely to strike a deal with US plane-maker Boeing to procure two Boeing 737-800s within the next two weeks.
Biman is likely to sign another deal with Orient Thai in three-four days to lease a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet in order to minimise the disruptions in its flight schedules.
Sources at the civil aviation ministry said the deal with Boeing will also include an option to buy two more similar planes.
The two 737-800s, scheduled to arrive in 2015, will be used on regional routes.
A high-level Boeing delegation is to arrive in Dhaka today to discuss the pros and corns of the deal with Biman while officials of Orient Thai arrive in Dhaka Sunday to discuss their deal with Biman, a top Biman official told The Daily Star last night.
"We hope to sign the deal with Boeing within the next 15 days for procuring two 737-800s," Mahbub Jamil, special assistant to the chief adviser for civil aviation and tourism ministry, told The Daily Star last night.
Biman on April 23 signed a deal with the US plane-maker to procure four 777-300ER and four 787-8 Dreamliner planes at a cost of $1.26 billion (Tk 8,728 crore).
The deal included an option for purchasing four more planes, two 777-300ERs and two 787-8s. Boeing is yet to put 787-8s into service.
On that day, Biman also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Boeing for buying two 737-800s.
On the deal with Orient Thai, a top Biman official told The Daily Star that they are at the final stages of the agreement. "We are hopeful about signing the agreement within three-four days," the official said requesting anonymity.
Under the prospective Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) lease agreement, Orient Thai will provide all staffs and crew for the Jumbo Jet while Biman will provide fuel.
Earlier, a four-member technical team went to Bangkok to inspect the plane of the Thai aviation firm that won the bid for leasing the plane to Biman.
The Board of Directors of Biman on April 20 in a marathon meeting decided to lease an aircraft from Orient Thai.
On March 9, Biman leased a Boeing 747-200 from a Nigeria-based airline to minimise disruptions in flight schedules.
Biman has been facing serious troubles in maintaining flight schedules due to acute shortage of aircraft for quite some time.
Biman currently owns three types of aircraft--four McDonnell Douglas DC10-30s, four Fokker F28s, and three Airbus A310-300s. Production of DC10-30s and F28s ended in the 80's due to their lack of viability in service.
Of the 11 planes of Biman fleet, only four or five are now operational while the rest are grounded.