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Auction of abandoned aircraft at HSIA hits snag

Published : 28 Jul 2021 09:22 PM | Updated : 29 Jul 2021 12:28 AM

The civil aviation authority is in confusion over the auction of abandoned aircraft at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

When the authority concerned is planning to put up twelve long-abandoned airplanes for auction, owners of these aircraft have applied to halt the auction process as they are trying to fly again. 

According to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport officials, there are currently eight aircraft of United Airways, two of Regent Airways, one of GMG Airlines, and one aircraft of Aviana Airlines at the airport. All of them, except the Regent Airways airplanes, have been in the same position for the last eight years.

United Airways said those aircraft are owned by 1.5 lakh shareholders of the country. And the company has started working to operate flights again by reorganizing its board. 

On the other hand, even if the buyer of the aircraft is found, the two aircraft of Regent Airways will not be able to be sold without the permission of civil aviation. 

Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Director Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan told Bangladesh Post, “We are trying to fuel up the process of auction. As those aircraft are owned by other organizations and they have mortgages and other issues, we are caring for all of these. We will contact those airlines again before starting the auction process. Even then, if there is no response, we will go through the auction process as per the rules of procedure.”   

Regent Airways authorities said the prices of their two planes have already been fixed. They wrote to CAAB regarding this six months ago, but till now they did not get any response from it. They will take legal action only if the authority violates any rules.

Regent Airways CEO Ashish Roy Choudhury, told Bangladesh Post, “We have already got customers to sell the aircraft. After selling these aircraft and paying the bank debt, we will bring three ATR-500 to resume our flight operations. But despite confirming to the CAAB regarding the matter they have not responded as yet”. 

“If they want to auction, let them take the value of the debt we have. If they think those aircraft will sell at a share price it is not possible for them. If they do such a thing, many airlines will go to court against them,” added Ashish Roy Choudhury.

A similar thing is also applicable to GMG airlines, they have also managed customers to sell their plane, but they are also waiting to get a response from the authorities concerned. 

United, which has reconstituted its board of directors, said it wants to resume flight operation. They have no objection to repaying the debt.

Kazi Wahidul Alam, chairman of the board of directors of United Airways, said, “We are not the only owners of these aircraft. Around 1.60 lakh shareholders are the owners of these. We did not receive any paper on what move the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) is likely to take”.

It was learned that United also sought permission to inspect and audit the aircraft, but the civil aviation authorities have not responded yet.