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Biman to close 7 overseas offices

  • Published at 11:42 pm February 21st, 2017
  • Last updated at 02:40 pm October 26th, 2017
Biman to close 7 overseas offices
The decision was approved by the manpower sub-committee of the board of directors recently. The approval came as per the recommendation in a report on overseas stations of the airlines. It now awaits final approval by the board of directors. In its report the sub-committee also recommended bringing back all the permanent employees of the airlines in next three months. The offices are located in New York, Rome, Toronto, Manchester, Hong Kong, Bahrain and Delhi. “The decision to shut overseas stations of Biman has been approved. Now Biman board of directors, the highest policy making body of the organisation, will give the final nod,” said Shakil Meraj, general manager (PR) of the Biman. Despite the fact that those stations had not been operating any flights for the past several years, they were kept open only to see losses. The management of the airlines was trying to resume Dhaka-New York flight in the last few years. The route was suspended in July, 2006 after huge losses. It incurred Tk50 lakh loss in each flight. As the US Federal Aviation Administration puts Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, local regulator, under category 2, Biman cannot resume Dhaka-New York flights with its own aircraft registered in Bangladesh. However, the airliner leased two Boeing 777 200 from Egypt to resume New York flights. The aircraft were registered by a category 1 body. But the initiative went in vain as the one of the aircraft was not serviceable. Biman needs at least two aircraft to operate the route. The decision to close some overseas stations was welcomed by the Biman insiders. They said if Biman would have taken the decision earlier, it wouldn’t have to count huge losses. Seeking anonymity, an official of Biman told the Dhaka Tribune that the national carrier was spending a large amount of money on operation of those offices with little returns. Biman launched Dhaka-Amsterdam flights in 1993. It later introduced Dhaka-Dubai-Brussels-New York flight. Although there was immense demand from passengers, Biman had to suspend flights in Dhaka-Rome-Frankfurt, Dhaka-Dubai-Brussels, Dhaka-Manchester routes in 2007 because of continued losses. In 2012 the airliner resumed Dhaka-Manchester route with a brand new aircraft Boeing 777 300 ER but later in the year it was again postponed. Currently a total of five employees have remained deployed in Manchester office. They were supposed to sell Biman ticket using code share with other airlines. But their performance was not satisfactory, official sources said. Dhaka-Rome flight was introduced in 1981 with two flights a week. In 2014 then Biman CEO Kevin Steele resumed the route with high expectations. But the flights were suspended immediately after a loss of over Tk1 crore in each flight. Dhaka-Delhi and Dhaka-Hong Kong flights were also suspended in 2014. The routes were introduced in 1992 and 1993 respectively.