Biman Bangladesh Airlines will launch direct flight to Myanmar capital Yangon from Dhaka on Saturday by its own Boeing 737-800.
“It will operate two flights a week,” CEO and Managing Director Kevin Steel told a press conference at Biman’s headquarters Balaka in Dhaka on Monday.
The flights will be operated following the air service agreement between the Civil Aviation Authorities of Bangladesh and Myanmar, reports BSS.
Kevin said Biman will resume its domestic flights by end December or early January after procuring two turboprops. As per the earlier commitment, Biman is supposed to resume domestic flights by this month.
“Unfortunately, we have still not procured the two turboprop aircrafts despite issuance of three RFPs (Request for Proposal). The last RFP did show three responsive bidders,” he said. “So, we’re now hopeful that this can be finally resolved and we can launch domestic flights by early January.”
Kevin said the airlines would deploy these small aircrafts on Dhaka-Yangon route to make air fare cheaper.
He said the unaudited results indicated Biman’s losses fell to US$25m in 2012-13 fiscal year from around $75m in the previous fiscal year.
“The trend shows that we will be able to make Biman profitable in 2014-15 fiscal as per our promise made to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said.
Kevin said the national flag carrier has made a profit of around Tk40om in September due to Hajj flights.
From next year, he said, Biman would not lease any aircraft for operating the hajj flights. “Before April, we will receive two more brand new wide-body Boeings and with those, we will be able to operate entire hajj flights,” he said.
Kevin said Biman is consulting with the University Grants Commission (UGC) to upgrade its training institute to university level. After upgrading the institute, “we can offer BSc degrees on different aviation related subjects and be able to make a pool of human resources locally.”
He said Biman is going to introduce its brand new and world class “Frequent Flyer Programme” from today. “We’re extremely confident that our Frequent Flyer Programme will match or exceed any other programmes in the world both in terms of technical specifications and generosity of mileage accruals,” Kevin added.