Biman Bangladesh Airlines failed to start flights on five new routes in the wake of aircraft shortage.
Sources said in April last year, the national flag carrier planned to launch its operation on the new routes – Dhaka-Guangzhou, Dhaka-Colombo-Male, Dhaka-Delhi and Dhaka-Hong Kong after conducting a feasibility study.
Biman had 14 aircraft in its fleet, but most of the time the leased two aircraft – Boeing 777 200 ERs – were grounded due to poor engine conditions.
The Engineering Department tries to make one aircraft airworthy, replacing equipment from one another.
Biman took the two aircraft on lease from Egypt to operate Dhaka-New York flight in 2014.
After induction of the two aircraft, Biman could not make flight on the route due to poor engine conditions.
Recently, it phased out Airbus 310 which was a major setback of the airlines.
Sources said now the airliner operates on seven domestic and 15 international flights with 12 aircraft.
If Biman wants to launch its flight on more routes with these aircraft, regular flight schedule might hit a snag, said an official.
Shakil Meraj, general manager and spokesperson of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, told the Dhaka Tribune that the management has already floated a tender to lease two Boeing 737 800 aircraft.
After completing all procedures, Biman will be able to fly on those routes next summer (Usually Summer schedule begins on March 28)
A team of Biman Bangladesh Airlines is scheduled to go abroad in March to inspect aircraft condition before going for any further lease.
Mentioning previous experience, an official of Planning Division said Biman had not been able to lease any aircraft on time due to long process of the airlines.
Moreover, in many cases, lessee airliners cannot put trust in the national carrier due to their previous bitter experience with Biman.
“We cannot say the airliner must complete all the procedures by March before commencement of new route operation,” added the official.
Though the management is planning to begin new routes, the preparation is not adequate.
Seeking anonymity, another official of Marketing Department said Biman needs to start selling functions at least two months before commencement of the new routes, but everything delays due to lack of decision which will come from the Biman board of directors.