Biman flight denied landing at Heathrow
The authorities of Heathrow International Airport in London did not allow a Biman flight to land there on Sunday as it failed to reach in time.
They however asked the pilot of the DC10-30 aircraft to hover in the sky for about 40 minutes, and then land at the airport.
The aircraft on a Dhaka-London direct flight did not have enough fuel for this and it had to land at nearby Gatwick airport.
The flight with about 320 passengers and crew on board was scheduled to fly for London at 12:30pm on Sunday but it finally took off from Zia International Airport (ZIA) at 4:15pm.
"When the flight reached London, Heathrow airport was very busy. The authorities asked the pilot to hover in the sky for 30 to 40 minutes.
As the aircraft had marginal fuel, it could not do so and landed at nearby Gatwick airport," a flight engineer of Biman said last night.
"Passengers of return flight of the aircraft were lodged at a London hotel that cost Biman about $ 2,000," a Biman official said.
Besides, another DC10-30 aircraft of Biman could not take off from ZIA for London yesterday due to technical glitches.
The flight was due to leave ZIA at about 2:30pm carrying 314 passengers. All of them were lodged at different hotels in Dhaka, said a Biman official.
Meanwhile, authorities of different international airports including Heathrow airport in November last year criticised Biman for its repeated failures to maintain flight schedules and warned of not granting slots to it if this continued.
The British Airways authorities agreed to continue slots to Biman for Heathrow airport until next month on condition that it maintains at least 80 percent of flight schedule.