Following operation for a few days on the Dhaka-London route, Biman Bangladesh Dreamliner flights have been cancelled for shortage of cockpit crew. The latest technology aircraft started operation on the route on December 10 last year.
Biman sources said, as training of pilots is not complete, the Dreamliner cannot operate as per schedule. At present, Biman has 6 sets of pilots to manage the Dreamliner. But operation of the Dreamliner on the Dhaka-London route requires 12 sets of pilots.
Just a few days ago, the national carrier added two latest technology aircraft, Boeing 787, able to fly 16 hours nonstop . But now these planes are being used to operate to short destinations which may reduce their lifespan.
A source informed that among the 15 international destinations, Biman now operates these aircraft to Malaysia (four hours), Bangkok (two hours) and Muscat (four and a half hours). Aviation experts say, the aircraft able to fly 16 hours, conducting operations on only two to four hour destinations, will reduce their lifespan.
On the other hand, at present the farthest destination, Dhaka to London, also requires 11 hours. But now, the Biman authority has decided to stop the Dreamliner whereas they had announced to operate six flights a week from Dhaka to London.
The Dreamliner, Hangsa Balaka, was operated thrice on the route. Now the Boeing 777 300 ER, replacing Hangshabalaka, is back in operation on the London route, six days a week.
Biman said, during winter, a huge passenger rush is witnessed, and the Boeing 777 has 419 seats, while the Dreamliner has 271 seats. As large numbers of Bangladeshi expatriates visit the country during this time, Boeing 777 can transport more passengers than the Dreamliner.
Former director of Bangladesh Biman Nafis Imtiaz said, operating the Dreamliner on short distances will reduce its landing and engine cycle fast, this will reduce the aircraft’s lifespan.
‘To get the highest service from these latest technology aircraft, Biman should reopen its long-destinations like New York and others,’ he added.
On the sudden stop of London route with Dreamer, Biman’s general manager Shakil Meraj said, we started our operation with Dreamliner to London, but due to shortage of cockpit crew, we had to shut down dreamliner service temporarily. But we will resume service within this month.
Earlier, the second Boeing 787-8 Hangsha Balaka was added to Biman’s fleet on December 2, while the first Dreamliner Boeing 787-8, known as Akash Beena, arrived on August 19 last year.