Biman Bangladesh Airlines


Biman Bangladesh Airlines

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Finally, on 10 March 2008 Biman Management unveiled its plan to procure eight new generation wide-bodied aircraft from US aircraft manufacturer Boeing for a total cost of US$1.26 billion. The eight aircraft include four Boeing 777-300ER with average price of US$182.9 million per unit to be delivered in 2013 (in the months of July, August, October and December) and four yet to be launched Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners with average price of US$133.31 million per unit to join Biman's fleet in 2017 (in July, August, October and November). The Boeing 777-300ER will have a seating capacity of 463 while the Dreamliners will have a seating capacity of 294 passengers.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Boeing on 15 March 2008 with Biman paying US$1.54 million initial payment with the final agreement signed on 22 April 2008.cite news |url=http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=43058 |title=Biman seals deal with Boeing for 10 planes |publisher=The Daily Star |date=2008-06-27 |accessdate=2008-09-24] Of the remaining cost, US-based EXIM bank will finance 85% while a syndication of local banks will finance the rest. For the interim period, Boeing agreed to arrange lease of four Boeing 777 aircraft to Biman with two to be delivered in 2009 and two to be delivered by 2010. Shortly after, Biman also signed a deal with Boeing to purchase two Boeing 737-800 aircraft for its domestic operations to be delivered by 2015. [cite news |url=http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=38870 |title=Biman strikes deal with Boeing in 2 weeks |publisher=The Daily Star |date=2008-05-30 |accessdate=2008-09-24]

This long-awaited declaration came at a time when Biman is struggling hard to maintain its already-reduced international flight schedule with its ageing fleet that frequently remain grounded with technical difficulties. Biman have cut seven international destinations mostly in Europe and Far East along with its prestigious New York route owing to shortage of new generation fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft, which makes these operations unprofitable. Biman has already wet-leased a 542 seater Boeing 747-200 from Kabo Air of Nigeria for six months to operate flights to KSA and UAE. [cite news |url=http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=27013 |title=Biman leases Boeing-747 from Nigeria |publisher=The Daily Star |date=2008-03-10 |accessdate=2008-09-24] Another 512 seater Boeing 747 has been leased from Orient Thai Airlines. [cite news |url=http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=43697 |title=Biman receives leased aircraft |publisher=The Daily Star |date=2008-07-01 |accessdate=2008-09-24]

Current fleet

As of 25 June 2008, the fleet consists of 12 aircraft, including two leased from Kabo Air and Orient Thai Airlines. [cite news |url=http://www.aviationrecord.com/search-results.aspx?articleType=ArticleView&articleId=526 |title=Orient Thai offloads 747 to Biman Bangladesh |publisher=Aviation Record |date=July 2008 |accessdate=2008-09-24] Biman also have confirmed orders for 10 aircraft from Boeing, including four Boeing 777-300ER, four Boeing 787 Dreamliner and two Boeing 737-800 along with 10 purchase rights. [cite web |url=http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2008/q2/080422d_nr.html |title=Boeing, Biman Bangladesh Airlines Sign Deal for 777s, 787s |publisher=Boeing |date=2008-04-22 |accessdate=2008-09-24] [cite web |url=http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2008/q2/080625a_nr.html |title=Bangladesh national carrier adds two Next-Generation Boeing's 737-800s to recent order for four 777-300ERs and four 787-8 Dreamliners |publisher=Boeing |date=2008-06-25 |accessdate=2008-09-24]



ubsidiaries

Biman has non-aviation enterprises, one of which is the Biman Flight Catering Centre (BFCC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Biman Bangladesh Airlines which was set up in 1989. The BFCC provides Biman's in-flight meals and is one of Biman's profitable operations, supplying food to British Airways, Qatar Airways, Dragonair, Uzbekistan Airways and Iran Air, along with casual orders from other airlines operating into Bangladesh.cite news |url=http://www.thedailystar.net/2003/09/08/d30908050150.htm |title=Biman flight catering keeps courting profits |publisher=The Daily Star |date=2004-07-30 |accessdate=2007-05-22] The BFCC consumes 90% of the eggs and chicken from the Biman Poultry Complex, another profit-making subsidiary of Biman formed in 1976 and put into operation in November 1980 to rear poultry at farms in Dhaka. [cite web | title =Corporate profile 2 | publisher =Biman Bangladesh Airlines| url =http://www.bimanair.com/aboutus/corporate_profile2.asp | accessdate = 2007-06-09] Bird flu was detected at one of the farms in March 2007, and many of the birds were culled. [cite news |url=http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/04/13/d704131502104.htm |title=Protect our small farmers from bird flu |publisher=The Daily Star |date=2007-04-13 |accessdate=2007-05-22] This was the first incident of bird flu in Bangladesh. [cite news |url=http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/03/29/d7032901085.htm |title=Bird flu continues to spread |publisher=The Daily Star |date=2007-03-29 |accessdate=2007-09-24]

Incidents and accidents

*10 February 1972: The first accident occurred less than a month after starting operations. All five crew members were killed when the Douglas DC-3 crashed near Dhaka during a test flight.cite web |url=http://aviation-safety.net/database/operator/airline.php?var=5131 |title= Biman Bangladesh Airlines Accident Reports |publisher=Aviation Safety Network |accessdate=2007-05-26]
*18 November 1979: A Fokker F27 being used for flight training landed in a field near Savar Bazar after the engines caught fire and cut out following a stall test at ft to m|8000|spell=Commonwealth. The aircraft was written off.
*3 April 1980: A Boeing 707 taking off for a scheduled international flight from Singapore (QPG-DAC) lost power just after the landing gear retracted. The aircraft had reached an altitude of about ft to m|100|spell=Commonwealth and fell back to the runway. All four engines had apparently flamed out, although it was also deemed possible that the takeoff was aborted too late. The aircraft was written off.
*4 August 1984: A flight from the port city of Chittagong (CGP-DAC) crashed near Dhaka, killing all 49 people on board. Captain Kaniz Fatema Roksana, the airline's first female pilot, made two attempts to land in reduced visibility but could not find the runway. On the third attempt the Fokker F-27 crashed in swamps ft to m|1640|spell=Commonwealth short of the runway.cite news |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C02E1DB1738F935A3575BC0A962948260&n=Top%2fNews%2fInternational%2fCountries%20and%20Territories%2fBangladesh|title=49 Die in Bangladesh As Plane Plunges|publisher=New York Times|date=1984-08-06|accessdate=2007-05-25]
*22 December 1997: Flight BG609 (DAC-ZYL) made a belly landing on paddy fields three km short of Osmani International Airport in heavy fog. Seventeen of the 89 people on board were injured. The Fokker F28 was written off.cite news |url=http://thedailystar.net/2004/10/09/d41009011515.htm|title=Chronology of Biman mishaps|publisher=The Daily Star|date=2004-10-09|accessdate=2007-05-25] cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/41971.stm|title=Miracle of plane crash survivors|publisher=BBC News Online|date=1997-12-25|accessdate=2007-05-25]
*11 January 2000: The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) of India issued a circular to warn Bangladeshi authorities of a possible hijack attempt on a Bangladeshi aircraft. [cite web |url=http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/mossad_india.html |title=Aborted Mission |author=Subir Bhaumik |publisher=The Week |date=2000-02-06 |accessdate=2007-09-15] [cite web |url=http://www.himalmag.com/july2001/response.html |archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20070502115105/http://www.himalmag.com/july2001/response.html |archivedate=2007-05-02 |title=Indian wheat & Bangla chaff |publisher=Himal Magazine |month=July | year=2001 |accessdate=2007-09-15] Eleven passengers carrying Iranian passports boarding a flight from Kolkata to Dhaka were detained by police in Kolkata on suspicion of the hijack attempt, [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/599318.stm |title=Suspected Bangladesh hijackers arrested |publisher=BBC News |date=2000-01-11 |accessdate=2007-09-15] but were released a few hours later with a hunt ensuing for eight unidentified Afghan nationals. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/606116.stm |title=India hunts for Bangladesh hijack plotters |publisher=BBC News |date=2000-01-11 |accessdate=2007-09-15]
*8 October 2004: Flight BG601 (DAC-ZYL) landed far down the ft to m|9000|spell=Commonwealth runway at Osmani International Airport in heavy rain and overshot the end by ft to m|150|spell=Commonwealth, coming to rest in a ditch ft to m|15|spell=Commonwealth deep. The Fokker F28's forward fuselage was heavily damaged and the plane was written off. All 79 passengers (including a number of VIPs from the Bangladesh government) escaped with minor injuries except the captain, Shahana Begum, who broke an arm.cite news |url=http://www.thedailystar.net/2004/10/09/d4100901011.htm |title=Biman F-28 skids off runway|publisher=The Daily Star|date=2004-10-09|accessdate=2007-05-25] The body of the damaged plane was sold by Biman Tk 11 lakh to Western Grill Air Corporation, which converted it into a restaurant sited at Ashulia, Dhaka.cite news |url=http://www.newagebd.com/2005/oct/09/met.html|title=F-28 aircraft shell to make restaurant|publisher=New Age Metro|date=2005-10-09|accessdate=2007-05-25] cite news |url=http://www.thedailystar.net/2005/08/29/d508292503127.htm|title=First-ever airplane restaurant in city|publisher=The Daily Star|date=2005-08-29|accessdate=2007-05-25] The restaurant was opened by the Bangladesh national cricket team and earned its owner, an expatriate Bangladeshi from the United Kingdom, a meeting with former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The restaurant was also visited by the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh and the Chief of Staff of the Bangladesh Air Force. [cite news |url=http://www.thisislocallondon.com/news/topstories/display.var.1429175.0.crashed_plane_restaurant_sold_at_profit.php |title=Crashed plane restaurant sold at profit |publisher=This is Local London |date=2007-05-29 |accessdate=2007-06-04]
*1 July 2005: Flight BG048 (DXB-CGP-DAC) skidded off runway 23 onto the grass at Shah Amanat International Airport while landing during heavy rain. The right-hand undercarriage of the Douglas DC-10-30 caught fire. Ten passengers were injured while exiting the aircraft.cite news |url=http://nation.ittefaq.com/artman/exec/view.cgi/32/19686 |archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20070927175329/http://nation.ittefaq.com/artman/exec/view.cgi/32/19686 |archivedate=2007-09-27 |title=Biman DC-10 skids off runway| publisher=The New Nation| date=2005-07-01|accessdate=2007-05-25] An enquiry found no faults with the aircraft and put the blame for the accident on the inefficiency of the pilot, whose employment was later terminated.cite news |url=http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/09/10/d60910012515.htm|title=Biman pilot sacked over DC-10 crash|publisher=The Daily Star|date=2006-09-10|accessdate=2007-05-25]
*26 September 2005: 5,500 staff and 150 pilots at Biman went on strike, shutting down the largest international airport in Bangladesh, when the president of the Bangladesh Airlines Pilots Association was served a retirement notice. [cite web |url=http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/oct2005/labo-o08.shtml |title=Bangladesh airline workers strike |work=Workers' Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific |publisher=World Socialist Website |accessdate=2007-08-31] The strike, lasting nine hours, stranded more than 1,000 passengers at Zia International Airport, which is also maintained by Biman. [cite news |url=http://www.newagebd.com/2005/sep/28/front.html#2 |title=Biman strike paralyses airports |publisher=New Age |date=2005-09-28 |accessdate=2007-08-31]
*12 March 2007: Flight BG006 (LHR-DXB-DAC) was crippled while accelerating down the runway of Dubai International Airport, as the nose gear of the Airbus A310-300 collapsed. [cite web |url=http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20070312-0 |title=Accident description |publisher=Aviation Safety Network|date=2007-03-12 |accessdate=2008-04-25] The aircraft came to rest at the end of the runway and was evacuated, but crippled the only active runway and forced the airport to close for eight hours while authorities inspected the runway. Fourteen people suffered minor injuries in the accident at Dubai International Airport.cite news |url=http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/03/12/dubai.airport/index.html |title=Dubai Jet Accident Injures 14 |publisher=CNN |date=2007-03-12 |accessdate=2007-05-25] The aircraft was written off by insurers who paid Biman US$22 million. [cite news |url=http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/06/26/d70626013019.htm |title=Biman gets $22 million |publisher=The Daily Star |date=2007-06-26 |accessdate=2007-06-26]
*31 August 2008: Flight BG001 (DAC-LHR) had to divert to London Gatwick Airport when it was unable to remain in a holding pattern for 40 minutes over Heathrow airport due to fuel limitations following its arrival over three hours behind schedule. This was one of the first direct flights from Dhaka following a re-routing of the London bound flights utilising DC-10 aircraft. Passengers expecting to travel on the outbound leg of this flight were put up overnight in London hotels at a cost of US$2,000 to Biman. At the same time, another London-bound flight was unable to depart Zia International Airport due to technical difficulties and all passengers were put up in hotels in Dhaka causing major disruption to schedules for Biman.

References

External links

* [http://www.bimanair.com/ Official Site] (English)
* [http://www.aviation-safety.net/database/operator/airline.php?var=5131 Aviation Safety Network: Biman Bangladesh Airlines]
* [http://www.airdisaster.com/photos/s2-ach/photo.shtml AirDisaster: Photos of F-28 2004 accident]
* [http://www.voanews.com/bangla/archive/2007-08/2007-08-02-voa4.cfm Interview With Dr MA Momen following Biman's conversion to PLC] (in Bengali)


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