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Dhaka Tribune

D-check in Italy: Boeing 777 safely returns to Dhaka

  • It was grounded for a D-check in Italy for over five months
  • It was supposed to return after 60 days
Update : 21 Jan 2024, 10:52 PM

The Boeing 777-3E9ER aircraft of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, which had been grounded in Italy, returned to Dhaka on Saturday.

Sources at the Civil Aviation Ministry confirmed to Dhaka Tribune that the newly appointed minister, Col (Retd) Muhammad Faruk Khan, urgently directed to call Biman high-ups for an update on the matter on Thursday.

The Boeing-777, with registration number S2-AFO, was grounded for a D-check in Italy for over five months owing to alleged mismanagement by the Engineering and Material Management Directorate, causing financial losses to the tune of around Tk2 crore per day.

Responding to the ministry's call, Biman high officials appeared at the ministry and informed the minister on the “D-check” issue.

After hearing them, the minister instructed them to take effective steps to return the aircraft after completing the necessary tasks, sources said.

Following the instructions, the aircraft landed safely at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in Dhaka at about 12pm on Saturday, airport sources told Dhaka Tribune.

Sources said the Biman authorities have yet to make plans to send another aircraft for a D-check at Atitech.

Earlier, officials had said there were plans to send two more aircraft to Italy within the next three months. As part of the plan, they were supposed to send another Boeing 777 to Italy this month for a D-check.

D-checks are comprehensive inspections and repairs of an entire aircraft in line with a maintenance program provided by the manufacturer. The package is prepared by a maintenance organization and approved by the national aviation authority, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) in this instance.

According to sources familiar with the matter, there are some specific job cards for inspection, repair, and replacement in a D-check work package.

Going against that work package, the Engineering Directorate of Biman Bangladesh Airlines and the Italian company Atitech signed a D-check completion agreement after the floating of a tender.

Following the agreed schedule, the 777 flew on August 14 to Atitech’s hangar for 60 days for fuel tank and body repairs as well as engine hardcover strength recovery.

Forty-five days were reserved for a D-check and the rest for total aircraft exterior painting.

The 60-day period ended on November 1.

Within Biman’s fleet, Boeing 777s—operated on profitable Middle East-bound routes—are the largest revenue earners.

The marketing department said each of these aircraft could carry over 800 passengers and transport 100 tons of cargo on a round trip.

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