A Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight was forced to return to Dhaka only minutes after take-off on Tuesday, due to a technical glitch.
Biman Flight BG493 left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for Saidpur at 12:28pm with 67 passengers on board, but turned back and landed after being airborne for just 18 minutes.
“The Biman flight returned to Dhaka airport shortly after take-off due to technical problems,” Biman General Manager Shakil Meraj told the Dhaka Tribune. “Our engineers have already identified the glitch and fixed it.”
The airport’s deputy director, Mosharraf Hossain, refuted the notion that it might have been an emergency landing.
“There may have been some complications, which is why the aircraft returned to the airport,” he said. “(But) we should not term it an emergency landing.”
After the glitch in the plane, a Dash 8 aircraft, was fixed, it was taken for a round of test flying around 5pm, said sources at the airport.
However, the flight was eventually cancelled for the day as the authorities at Saidpur airport did not give permission for a late flight.
Biman General Manager Shakil said the work schedule at Saidpur airport ends at 8pm.
The cancellation sparked outrage among the passengers, who had to wait for hours for the flight only to be turned away.
“We waited for a long time for this flight,” said Tanjir Islam, one of the passengers. “The flight was cancelled despite its second take-off at 6pm. They [Biman] did not refund us for the tickets either.”
He said the Biman authorities had instructed the passengers who had bought their tickets from travel agents to contact the agents for refunds.
When contacted, Shakil said: “The test flight was delayed due to several complications, which is why the flight ultimately had to be cancelled.”
Asked about the inconvenience that the passengers suffered due to this situation, Shakil said: “We arranged for lunch for the passengers. We also refunded the ticket price to those who asked for it.
“We tried our best to take the passengers to Saidpur. We would have succeeded if the test flight had not gotten delayed,” he added.
Sections of this article were first published on banglatribune.com