‘Policy-makers should devise strategic plan to run Biman commercially’

As Biman Bangladesh Airlines Limited plans to operate on some new routes in near future, experts have cautioned that the policymakers should devise proper strategic planning to run the national airline commercially.

The management of the national airline plans to operate on some new routes like Tokyo, Chennai, Male, Colombo, Toronto and New York in the near future.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Limited now operates on 19 international routes including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Madinah, Doha, Kuwait City, Muscat, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore City, Bangkok, Manchester, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and in local routes including Chittagong, Sylhet, Cox’s Bazar, Syedpur, Rajshahi, Barisal and Jessore.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Limited incurred Tk2,761 crore revenue loss during the January-August period of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lack of proper management.

According to sources, Biman cancelled 4,103 flights during March-August  2020 due to a pandemic that caused the national airline an unaudited loss of Tk597 crore.  

Sources said Biman, however, made a net profit of Tk218 crore during the 2018-19 fiscal year.

While talking to Dhaka Tribune on Saturday, the former member of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Kazi Wahidul Alam said that Biman should redesign strategic planning targeting routes, Covid-19 situation and clients’ demands and above all, improve management to run it commercially.

According to The World Health Organization (WHO), the people will have to live with the Covid-19 during the next 4/5 years and Biman will have to design plans considering the pandemic.

He also said that interference from the government and the “inefficient” management and the unions has to be stopped to make Biman a profit-making organisation.

Meanwhile, a teacher of the commerce faculty said, as Biman is a commercial airline, the government should think of running the organization by an efficient, capable, experienced private sector organization that has long experience in aviation.

In the past, the management hired a British operator to run the airline, but he had to quit the airline facing stiff pressure from the union and other vested quarters.

It is difficult to make a profit while running a commercial organization by bureaucrats only, without management experts. Most of the state-owned commercial organizations are running on losses.

Meanwhile, The US-Bangla airlines have added two more Boeing 737-800 aircraft to its fleet, stretching its total planes to 16.

The US-Bangla Airlines, the country's largest private air carrier, is also going to start flights from Dhaka to Colombo, Sharjah, and Delhi route with these two newly inducted Boeing 737-800 aircraft that have 189 economy class seats.

The two aircraft landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at 11:00 pm and 11:30 pm on Friday directly from Jordan, a press release said  on Saturday

US-Bangla airlines Business Development Director Captain Lutfor Rahman officially received the two aircraft at the airport.

The airlines also have plans to add Airbus 330-200/300 aircraft to operate flights from Dhaka to Jeddah, Riyadh and Medina in June next year.

Currently, the carrier operates international flights to Kolkata, Chennai, Male, Muscat, Doha, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Guangzhou and domestic flights to all destinations within the country.

Other senior officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh and US-Bangla Airlines were also present at the airport.

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