Anwar Hossain

To increase and maintain domestic flight schedules, Biman Bangladesh Airlines is going to take an aircraft on lease from Canada, to add to its fleet by September.

At present, with two Dash model aircraft, domestic routes are being maintained which is insufficient to face the rising demand.

According to Biman, due to lack of aircraft, the airlines is unable to increase flight schedule on domestic routes. But now, it plans to increase flight schedule with leasing the aircraft.

As per the plan, the company is to take lease of a Dash-8 model aircraft from Canada. Officials of Biman hope they will start operation with the leased aircraft by September.

According to Biman source, the aircraft being leased has 74 seats, and will consume less fuel than usual.

Source said, with only two Dash aircraft providing service in the domestic routes, the authority sometimes cannot cope with passenger demand, and if any one of the aircraft goes for maintenance, Biman faces serious schedule disruption. Sometimes flights on certain routes are also cancelled.

It is to be noted that Biman earlier added Boeing 737-800 aircraft to its fleet on December 2015. Biman now has four Boeing 777-300 ER, two Boeing 777-200 ER, two Boeing 737-800, two Dash 8-400 and one airbus A330 aircraft. Biman is now operating flights on 15 international routes and seven domestic routes.

Confirming the matter, Biman’s acting director (Marketing and Sales) Ashraful Alam said, ‘considering the pressure of the rising passengers on domestic and regional routes, we have decided to lease another Dash plane’.

Biman’s general manager Shakil Miraj told Bangladesh Post, ‘for shortage of aircraft we are really facing serious problems to keep proper schedule, but with the addition of another Dash aircraft we will be able introduce new routes while maintaining the existing schedule.

The aircraft is being taken on lease for three years on a dry lease (an arrangement covering the hire of an aircraft which does not include provision of a flight crew) agreement. The aircraft will be used on seven domestic and two regional routes, which include Kolkata and Myanmar- he added.

With the existing, and the leased, total number of Dash model aircraft will be three. With these, Biman will increase all domestic flights from next October..