Biman Bangladesh Airlines has decided to suspend its flights to Germany’s Frankfurt from November 1 this year, only seven months after the resumption of the flight after a gap of 10 years.
Instead, the national flag carrier is set to start a fourth flight to London from Dhaka on October 31, according to a report of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism sent to a parliamentary watchdog that asked Biman to close the loss-incurring Dhaka-Frankfurt flights.
The report – a copy of which has been obtained by the Dhaka Tribune – will be placed at the scheduled meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Civil Aviation and Tourism for discussion today.
The working paper further says Biman is likely to launch two weekly flights to Tokyo by 2015, provided the route becomes profitable in the upcoming market survey.
The national operator also initiated the process to start flights to Kunming and Guanxu of China, Colombo, Sri Lanka and Male, the capital of the Maldives.
The Biman record shows that it resumed two weekly flights to Frankfurt via Rome from Dhaka on April 1 this year, with a brand new Boeing 777-300 aircraft. But the passenger response has been very poor as no market survey was done before the relaunch of the flight.
On September 25, the Biman board of directors decided to stop the Frankfurt flights from November 1, says the working paper. The board also decided to start operation of the fourth flight to London, a profitable route for Biman.
In 2004, the government cancelled the flights to Frankfurt due to insufficient number of passengers.
Biman operates flights to 18 destinations. The national flag carrier incurred a loss of over Tk594 crore in 2011-12 and over Tk191 crore in 2012-13 fiscal years.