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Dhaka Tribune

Biman mulls joint venture for ground handling at Dhaka airport

Update : 01 Feb 2016, 08:12 PM

Biman Bangladesh Airlines has planned to manage ground handling on a partnership basis with an aim to better serve the passengers.

M Asaduzzaman, acting managing director and CEO of Biman, said it was also an initiative to ease the troubles of passengers. 

“We admit that we have limitations, such as manpower shortage and lack of adequate equipment, when it comes to providing good ground handling services. In spite of these limitations, the airline is trying its best to serve passengers,” he said.

Asaduzzaman said the board of directors of Biman had already approved the purchase of ground handling equipment.

“After hiring enough manpower and purchasing the necessary equipment, this problem will be resolved. But to deal with the problems for the time being, officials have been directed to increase supervision at the airport. Also, Biman will soon publish a circular inviting companies to submit their proposals for the joint venture initiative, he added.

Asking not to be named, a top Biman official told the Dhaka Tribune bringing ground handling under a joint venture had been a long-awaited matter in the wake of the deterioration of the quality of service. 

A total of 34 local and foreign airlines, including Biman, currently operate flights at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport while most of the foreign airlines carry passengers in wide-body aircraft.

Around 200 flights arrive at and depart from Dhaka airport every day while Biman annually handles around 4.2 million passengers who travel by 25 international airlines.

A wide-body aircraft carries over 400 passengers. As Biman lacks adequate equipment and manpower, it cannot handle such a large number of passengers at the same time.

Harassment of passengers at Dhaka airport is a regular phenomenon, especially for the home-bound expatriate Bangladeshis.

According to a report of the airport authorities, some 20-30 passengers lose their baggage every day as they return home or depart for abroad.

Also, tampering with luggage and theft have become a regular incident passengers face, but Biman has failed to stop this despite repeated actions.

“This is exactly why Biman should immediately task a good organisation with ground handling management,” Shirajul Islam, a businessman who regularly flies to different destinations, told the Dhaka Tribune.

Meanwhile, several ground handling companies such as Dnata, Swissport and SATS have expressed interest in partnering with Biman for providing ground handling services. 

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