Biman Bangladesh Airlines is searching for new destinations to stay competitive in the air cargo market, as the government is procuring two new cargo airliners. Businessmen saying, Europe is one of the more profitable air cargo destinations besides the Middle East and Asia. However, to stay competitive, Biman must increase quality cargo service and offer competitive transportation costs to survive the competition.
It is to be noted, at present 90 percent of air cargo is being transport by foreign carriers. Biman does not have any separate air carriers to transport goods or cargo resulting in limitations of commercial goods being transported in the cargo hold of passenger aircraft. As a result, despite having huge markets in the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Southeast Asia, Biman is unable to exploit the opportunities.
In this very situation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed to purchase two cargo carriers to facilitate the country’s goods transportation as well as to explore the international cargo market. To get the highest return of the cargo carriers, Biman will initially operate cargo flights to the Middle East and China. At the same time, the airliner will reduce cargo transportation costs.
Civil Aviation and Tourism ministry secretary Md Mohibul Haque confirming this said, “Determining destinations and appropriate air carriers, we will take our decision. Hopefully, we will purchase 737 model aircrafts”. Biman’s managing director Mokabir Hossain said, “Almost all companies cargo flights come to Kolkata airport, they are carrying cargo goods at any price they are offered. As a result, some of our exporters are moving there. We are thinking of reducing cargo cost for them”.
According to freight forwarders association information, most profitable cargo destinations are Hong Kong, Thailand, and China where the country’s vegetables, fruits, and fishes are exported. According to Biman statistics, its cargo transportation reduced by 3,236 tonnes from July to October of the previous year. This also affects the ground handling of Biman. As a result, earnings reduced by Taka 73 crore.
Biman's information showed that it has transported 36,000 tonnes of cargo last year. During this time, the national flag carrier has earned Tk 696 crore by cargo transportation and ground handling. The earnings will increase manifold.