Biman flight disruption to continue through March

bimanDisruption in the flight schedule of Biman Bangladesh Airlines will continue throughout the month of March as the repair work for its three grounded aircrafts needs more time.

The national flag carrier has been suffering a collapse in its flight schedule for a while as three of its aircrafts is grounded at different airports in and outside the country, causing much inconvenience to its passengers.

As of now, 25 scheduled flights have been cancelled, most of the others flights have been delayed by at least 12-14 hours.

Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune on Monday, Biman General Manager Shakil Meraj said the airline’s flight operation department would be able to depart around 50% of the flights on time by March 8 and another 25% flights by March 12.

All the flights will depart on time by March 30, he added.

Sources said one of Biman’s dependable aircrafts, a Boeing 777-300ER, has remained grounded for nine days at Saudi Arabia’s Dammam airport as the plane’s left engine blade was severely damaged after being hit by a bird.

All flights of Biman will depart on time by March 30

A team of Biman engineers are ready to leave for Dammam for repair work as soon as they get Saudi visa. The repair work will take around a week, said a Biman official.

Another aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, is grounded in Indonesia for a D check – a major maintenance of an aircraft – which will take around a month.

The third Biman aircraft that is not functional, a Boeing 777-200ER, has remained grounded in Dhaka airport for over a month due to engine damage.

In addition, the two Boeing 777-200ER aircrafts that Biman took from EgyptAir on lease are unserviceable most of the time due to the poor condition of their engines, said a Biman engineer, requesting anonymity.

These two aircrafts, designated to operate Biman’s Dhaka-New York flights, have been grounded at least 20 times last year.

According to the lease agreement, EgyptAir is obligated to replace the engines, but the process is lengthy.

Although the engines have still not been replaced, Biman is having to pay Tk10 crore per month according to the agreement. Added to that is the aircrafts’ maintenance costs, which Biman is paying for as well.

The situation is likely to improve a little after return of the VVIP flight that took Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Indonesia on Monday.

When Biman operates a VVIP flight, it keeps two aircrafts grounded for 24 hours ahead of the departure for security concerns.

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