Biman Bangladesh Airlines will receive here the first out of ordered three 74-seater narrow-body Dash Q400 turboprops aircraft from Canadian Bombardier Inc on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already named the new aircraft as ‘Dhrubotara’, a Biman’s press release said on Sunday.
The National Flag carrier has planned to increase its flight frequencies to its domestic and regional destinations after receiving all the three new Bombardier aircraft, said the release.
Biman acquired two Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 planes under dry lease for five years in April 2015 to resume its domestic flight operations after a three-year pause as the national flag carrier was forced to shut down all domestic sector due to scarcity of aircraft in 2012.
On August 1 in 2018, the state owned Biman signed G2G (government-to-government) agreement with Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) to purchase three Dash Q400NG series aircraft from Bombardier as the lease period of the current two turboprop to be expired by mid 2020.
Bombardier was scheduled to deliver the three single-aisle plane each to Biman in March, May and June this year but it was late due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on the list price of the Q400 aircraft, the order is valued at approximately US$106 million, Bombardier said in a statement after signing purchase agreement with Bangladesh though both the Bombardier and Biman didn’t disclose the actual deal price.
On November 15, 2016, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a proposal of Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry allowing Biman Bangladesh Airlines to procure three aircraft from the Canadian firm.
After adding the new Dash plane, the fleet number of Biman will be raised to 19 including its 6 leased aircraft.