Biman looking for partner in ground-handling

indexNational flag-carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines is focusing on inducting a partner to provide ground-handling services within the shortest possible time, with a view to improving the quality of the work in all airports across the country, reports UNB.

“A tender has been floated and interested parties have submitted their papers. An Evaluation Committee is now evaluating the proposals,” Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon told the news agency.

Some seven companies from six countries have showed their interest to partner Biman in ground-handling.

These companies are Swissport International Ltd of Switzerland, SITA of Singapore, Egypt Air of Egypt, Dnata of Dubai, Celebi of Turkey and two others from India.

Responding to a query regarding the appointment of the ground-handling partner for the national flag carrier, the Civil Aviation Minister asked to let the evaluation committee finish doing their job first.

“It is not the right time to fix a deadline for the appointment at this stage. It should be after the evaluation committee visits the respective airports to witness first-hand the ground-handling activities of the selected responders,” Menon said.

Biman has decided to go for a joint venture with an outside party for 10 years for the ground-handling services at all airports in Bangladesh, aiming to provide the highest level of customer service and operational excellence to the customers, including those of international and domestic airlines, cargo flights, private and charter flights.

The national flag-carrier remained the sole agent for ground-handling services in all airports of the country since Independence.

The decision has also been taken for the maximisation of profitability, to provide efficient, reliable and cost-effective solutions at all levels, compliance of Service Level Agreements (SLAs), optimum utilization of Ground Handling assets, to ensure industrial relations and harmony and drive massive improvements in products and services, to become a Regional Centre of Excellence.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines at present provides passenger and cargo services on 7 domestic and 15 international routes.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines is taking advantage to cater ground-handling to all international airlines for passenger and cargo services since the beginning. Biman’s Ground Handling Services is IOSA certified from 2008.

It provides ground-handling support to 26 foreign carriers operating to and from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), Dhaka.

Biman also provides ground-handling services at other airports of Bangladesh including Shah Amanat Int’l Airport, Chittagong and Osmani Int’l Airport, Sylhet.

It provides ground handling services to 910 passenger flights, 70 freighter aircrafts and 10 charter aircrafts weekly. Biman’s revenue earnings on account of ground-Handling services are approximately $30-35 million per year.

Biman’s present ground handling manpower strength is 1050, including 500 Loaders. It has 210 motorized and 2968 non-motorized equipments in its inventory.

Biman manpower engaged in ground-handling, available facilities and logistics support mentioned would be a part of the joint venture agreement.

As per the tender document, Biman and the partner shall sign a joint venture agreement to create a new company or an entity to obtain a ground-handling agent’s license from CAAB.

The document specifies that the partner shall agree to continue business with Biman for 10 years from the commencement date of operations. It may be extended if mutually agreed upon by both parties.

The partner must be a major ground-handling agent working in at least 5 reputed international airports in different countries with 10 years of experience.

The partner must be financially capable and willing to inject sufficient operating capital into the joint venture, to completely replace, update and overhaul all motorized and non-motorised equipment, vehicles, premises, offices, computer hardware and software, etc. as well as training for all employees to achieve the significantly higher operational and customer service standards required.

According to a senior official of Biman, the evaluation of proposals/offers will be done based on the potential partner’s experience in ground handling/airport handling, financial capability, financing proposal and profit sharing, performance and response.

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