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Dhaka Tribune

Biman allocates 4C for promotional flight

A total 36 passengers set to travel on the first flight

Update : 25 Mar 2022, 12:44 PM

The authorities of the Biman Bangladesh Airlines have allocated over TK4 crore to operate promotional flights on the Dhaka-Toronto route for a five-day tour.

Mahbub Jahan Khan, director (corporate planning and training) of Biman, made the announcement at a press conference amid controversy over the decision to send a large delegation on a promotional flight for the appointment of a general sales agent and consultation with Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA).

The press conference was organized by the High Commission of Canada to Bangladesh on Thursday. Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Lily Nichols was present, among others.

Lily Nichols hoped that the launch of the flight would further strengthen the friendship between the two countries.

Although the test flights will start on March 26, regular flights are set to start in June this year.

Regarding controversy over the first promotional flight, Mahbub Jahan Khan said: "The total spent on this promotional flight is little over Tk4 crore, not Tk10 crore.”

However, some Biman officials told the Dhaka Tribune the amount was around Tk10 crore, including accommodations, various airport charges, hotel cost, and shopping expenses.

Also Read - Is Biman’s Toronto route commercially viable?

State minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mahbub Ali said: "We have been trying to operate flights on the Canada-Toronto route for the last two or three years. After discussions with the Canadian authorities, it was decided to start the flight on March 26, ahead of the 50th anniversary of Canada-Bangladesh, Independence Day and Mujib New Year celebrations.”

However, the state minister refuted all allegations that they are operating promotional flights for GSA appointments and consultancy. The flight will be flown as a special flight, not a commercial one.

He further said: " Biman's office in Canada was fixed a month ago. Another team has already gone to Canada to fix the GSA. No one is going to Toronto on this flight to work on any GSA appointments."

The state minister added: “The operation of flights in a country like Canada is very prestigious. Expatriates have wanted such a flight for a long time."

On March 26, a flight with a capacity of 130 passengers will carry only 36 passengers. Most of the passengers are officials from the Ministry of Aviation, CAAB, and Biman.

Regarding who are going on the promotional flight, Mahbub Jahan Khan said 30 passengers have so far booked economy class tickets while 6 passengers have bought business class tickets.

He further said 19 passengers had collected return tickets, of which six were business class.

Tickets are still available online, he added.

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