Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated a new Boeing 777 of Bangladesh Biman at the Shahjalal International Airport today.
The aircraft -- Akash Prodip, a Boeing 777-300ERs – was inaugurated by the premier at the airport ground in an event which also marked the retiring of the last operational DC-10-30 airbus in the world.
Two new planes have been purchased for Bangladesh Biman in an attempt to boost service and competition in the country's aviation sector, Hasina said in her speech at the event.
The government is also working to reopen closed down airports across the country, with several including Syedpur and Rajshahi airports already being operational, she added.
The prime minister also advised Biman to be punctual with its flights and improve the quality of its services and food to attract passengers.
“Biman is the symbol of independence. It introduces Bangladesh to the world. I suggest all employees of Biman to work sincerely,” she said.
Marking the occasion of retiring the last operational DC-10 airbus of Biman, she said: “Bangladesh is the only country to fly the oldest known airbus. Only Bangladeshi pilots dared to fly it.”
The Cox’s Bazar Airport will be upgraded to international standard to attract tourists, while an underground tunnel will be constructed from Airport Rail Station in Dhaka to Shahjalal International Airport for providing better transport facilities, Hasina said during the event.
Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad, senior ministers, advisers, lawmakers, civil aviation personnel and Bangladesh Biman higher-ups were present at the event.
The Boeing 777 was purchased under a 10-plane deal with Boeing signed during the last caretaker government's tenure.
Apart from Akash Prodip, Biman has two other Boeing 777-300ERs, two Boeing 737-800s and two Airbus 310-300s (one grounded).
Biman will send the fuel guzzling DC-10, which is now the only passenger aircraft of its kind in the world, on retirement on February 20.