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Move to revitalise Biman

Published : 28 Aug 2020 09:33 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 06:32 PM

All-out measures have been taken to speed the recovery of the Biman Bangladesh Airlines from the worst blow Covid-19 pandemic dealt to the national flag carrier.

The coronavirus crisis has already made an enormous impact on Biman which incurred a loss of Tk 2,500 crore in three months following the suspension of all flights on both domestic and international routes.

Besides, the Covid-19 also has profoundly affected passenger traffic, air cargo demand, airport workforce and incoming revenues.

The ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism in its annual performance agreement with its other departments detailed the plans to overcome the ongoing crisis and recover the loss. While talking to Bangladesh Post, Md. Mahbub Ali, State Minister for Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism and Md Mokabbir Hossain, Managing Director and CEO of Biman Bangladesh Airlines revealed this on Friday. 

In its plans, the Biman authorities attached importance to four categories of work.  

Of them, strategic human capital planning in order to recruit required manpower, provide training to officials and employees, proper evaluation and promotion and make skilled manpower.

Besides, the Biman plans to operate flights to Guangju, Toronto, Tokyo, Chennai, Colombo, Mali, Sharjah, Shalala, Bahrain and New York.

Apart from these, it will also ensure international quality service for passengers. 

Biman has also taken fresh measures to get ISAGO for ground handling and ESSA-145 for the maintenance of aircraft certificates. 

Biman is also working to construct superior hanger for aircraft maintenance.

Contacted Md. Mahbub Ali, State Minister for Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism on Friday said they have taken strategic human capital planning, expansion of international flights and networks and improvement of passengers’ service.

“We want to turn around. So, we are doing everything we need to make the national flag carrier a highly competent organisation at all costs despite Covid-19 pandemic,” he told the Bangladesh Post.       

He added they have already talked to the ambassadors of Japan, France, Spain and Korea in order to operate flights between Bangladesh and those countries.

“As almost all flights remain suspended except Dubai and London, we have focused on cargo aircraft. We have already talked to World Health Organisation over using Biman’s cargo aircraft,” he added.

He said some steps have been taken to address some irregularities, and various measures have been taken to prevent those.

“Biman’s revenue has been increased as the authorities concerned have scrapped the seat-blocking system in ticket purchase. But the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the Biman like other foreign airlines,” the state minister said.

He said massive changes have been brought to ensure transparency in recruitment system of the national airliner.   

Md Mokabbir Hossain, Managing Director and CEO said they have taken all-out measures to recover the losses caused by the Covid-19.

“Almost all our activities have been made automated. I’m here working to root out all irregularities. Besides, Biman has also introduced electronic ticketing system at all of its offices at home and abroad, so that all people now can get the tickets,” he told Bangladesh Post.   

He also said Biman has improved luggage-handling management at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

“Earlier it took around three hours to get a luggage at the airport. But now luggage distribution starts within 18 minutes after an aircraft lands and it takes around 60 minutes to complete the distribution of the luggage,” he said.

At present, the national flag carrier has 18 aircraft in its fleet. These include, six Boeing 737, four Boeing 777, six Boeing 787 Dreamliner, two Dash 8.