Biman plans to resume New York flight, operate flights to new destinations using Dreamliner
Biman Bangladesh Airlines is going to add four Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to its fleet within one year and a half in a move to resume flights to New York and operate flights to at least four new destinations.
Out of the four, two Boeing 787 Dreamliner will join the fleet in August and November this year. The two other aircraft will be delivered in September 2019, said officials of the national flag carrier.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is considered to have the latest state of art technology in the global aviation industry, will not only ensure a comfortable journey but also have new technologies.
Under a purchase agreement of $2.1 billion for 10 planes signed in 2008, Biman received delivery of four 777-300ER and two 737-800 from Boeing. The remaining four 787 Dreamliner are now awaiting delivery.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina named the four new aircrafts Akashbeena, Hansabalaka, Gangchil, and Rajhansa.
Currently, Biman has 12 aircraft and two new ones be added to the fleet this year.
Biman’s General Manager (Public Relations) Shakil Meraz said the new aircraft will offer facilities such as wi-fi and telephone calls. Passengers will also be able to live stream nine channels, including the BBC and CNN.
Panasonic’s new eX3 in-seat system monitors will offer the passengers enjoy more than 100 on-demand movies and video games.
The aircraft will also have touchscreen 3D route-maps, a latest addition to the aviation industry which will show various structures of the territories the aircraft will fly over.
“The 271-seat aircraft will have 24 business class seats which can be reclined to 180 degrees. The windows will be larger and the cabins will be wider than any other jet aircraft,” said Shakil.
The Dreamliner will have an e-enabling system where everything will go online. “The captains will consult via iPad. All ground to air communication will be done online. We have almost completed setting up a server for the purpose,” he said.
Shakil said the 787 Dreamliner is Boeing’s most fuel-efficient aircraft and it is environment-friendly as it consumes about 20% less fuel compared to other aircraft.
“Once fuelled, it can fly for 16 hours non-stop. So, we will hopefully operate flights directly from Dhaka to New York using them.”
Operating flights to the US requires having “Category 1” rating from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but Bangladesh is now in “Category 2,” the Biman general manager said, hoping to have an upgrade soon.
The FAA slapped a ban on Bangladesh in the absence of the rating in 1996. Biman suspended its operation on the route since then.
“We are planning to fly to new destinations like Guangzhou, Colombo and Male and resume flights to New Delhi and Hong Kong. We also have plans for Manchester, Rome and Sydney which will be expedited once we get the new aircraft,” said Shakil.
Biman is providing training to 112 ground engineers in Singapore for the operation of 787 Dreamliner.