Biman currently has two Q400 aircraft in its fleet on rental basis, at a monthly cost of $168,000
National flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines, although is running at a loss, is purchasing three new Q400 turboprops to be added to its fleet.
Biman sources say the purchase is necessary since the lease agreement for seven aircraft from its fleet will expire by 2022.
The flag carrier will purchase the planes from Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. The announcement of the $106 million purchase agreement came on September 10 after the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) and Bombardier Commercial Aircraft issued separate media statements.
It was signed under a government-to-government contract on August 1 in Dhaka.Biman’sChief Executive Officer AM Mosaddique Ahmed and CCC acting President Carl Marcotte signed the deal.
The Q400 series aircraft are twin-engine, medium-range turbo-prop aeroplanes with 70-89 seats. Biman officials said the aircraft will be delivered in March, May and June in 2020.
“We are very excited about adding these Q400s to our fleet. We currently operate two Q400s … these aircraft are ideal for our domestic and regional operations,” said Biman CEO Mosaddique.
He said the Q400 will allow Biman to offer high frequency services within Bangladesh and neighboring countries.
François Cognard, the Bombardier vice-president of sales for Asia Pacific saidthe Q400 has greater seating and cargo capacity.
“The Q400’s mix of turboprop economics and jet like performance were the best match for Biman’s mix of short and long-range routes,” he said in a statement.
Ian McLeod, the CCC vice-president of Business Development and Sales, said that Canada and Bangladesh enjoy strong bilateral ties through trade and investment, development cooperation, and people-to-people links.
“Increasing the capacity of the national carrier supports these efforts and the economic growth of the country,” he added.
Biman currently has two Q400 aircraft in its fleet on rental basis, at a monthly cost of $168,000. It took these aircraft on a five-year lease from Egypt’s Smart Aviation Company in 2015.
The national flag carrier recently bought four Boeing 787 Dreamliner. One of them has already been delivered and is in operation. Biman will receive one of the remaining three787 in November and the rest in September 2019.
Biman currently flies on 15 international and seven domestic routes.