Biman's remarkable recovery
Biman Bangladesh Airlines yesterday claimed that it has cut its loss by around $50 million (around Tk 387 crore) in the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Biman had lost around $75 million (around Tk 606 crore) in 2011-12 fiscal year.
Managing Director Kevin Steele of Biman yesterday in a press conference at Biman's head office Balaka said, “The results for 2012-13 show that losses have come down to around $25 million [around Tk 193 crore].”
He, however, said the figures were provisional, un-audited and not approved by the Biman Board and the government.
Steele expressed hope that in the current fiscal year, ending in June, 2014, Biman would be able to bring its losses down to around Tk 77 crore and go into profit in the following year.
Biman has been in the reds since 2008-09.
He said despite the fact that Biman lost its passenger carrying capacity by around 30 percent this year, causing revenue drop, its running cost had also fallen.
Steele, who took over the helm of the national carrier in March as the MD and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), took a number of cost cutting measures.
He kept Biman's gas guzzlers, the
DC-10s, almost grounded, which saved Biman around 90 tonnes of fuel every day, Biman sources said.
New agreement with a communications company, better revenue flow especially from cargo, a new revenue integrity system, cost saving by reducing passengers on waiting list, and better measurement of flight loads also helped Biman cut its losses.
About the Hajj flight preparations, Steele said the national carrier was fully prepared to carry this year's hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia and to fly them back after the holy ritual.
This year, 88,911 people from Bangladesh will perform hajj. Biman will carry 44,500 on a leased Boeing 747, and two Boeing 777-300ERs.
Saudi Arabian Airlines will ferry the rest.
Steele said, “The hajj seats are currently on sale and we will have hajj flights fully through e-ticketing for the first time.”
The first hajj flight is supposed to fly at 2:30pm on September 7.
The Biman MD also said from next month Biman would significantly improve its in-flight services by introducing its in-flight magazine Bihanga, new duty free products, improved entertainment, catering, overnight kits for business class and new children's activity packs.
Steele said after Biman's 3rd and 4th new Boeing 777-300ERs join the fleet in February and March next year, they would be used to inaugurate flights to New York, and destinations in Europe and China.
Referring to the airlines' improved punctuality, Steele said in June Biman's on time departure was 61.5 percent and it was 67.4 percent in July.
The overall punctuality last year was less than 35 percent, he added.