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Bangladesh flag carrier face warning to be shut

Publication Date : 01-10-2012


Bangladesh flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines would certainly be dissolved if it failed to be an efficient organisation, the country's Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith warned yesterday.

He said Biman could not be allowed to run like the way it is running now, he said, terming the company as "a very incompetent and inefficient organisation", he said.

Muhith said this while addressing a programme at Osmani International Airport, Sylhet, on the occasion of resumption of London-Sylhet fights.

He said as Biman is a national organisation, people love it. But they have endless allegations against the services provided by Biman.

“Biman is not only a loss-incurring organisation, its service is very poor too. The government will stop providing financial assistance to Biman soon, if it failed to improve its overall management and quality of service,” he said.

The national flag carrier has been incurring loss for the last few years.

Last year it incurred a loss of 2.08 billion taka (US$25.47 million). Recently, it came to the limelight after several thousands passengers had to endure unbearable sufferings due to a schedule chaos and poor services.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary standing committee on civil aviation and tourism ministry yesterday formed a one-member committee led by acting civil aviation secretary Khorshed Alam Chowdhury to probe the Biman schedule chaos.

The probe body was asked to submit its report within a month, Mainuddin Khan Badal, a member of the parliamentary watchdog, told reporters after a meeting of the committee at the Sangsad Bhaban yesterday.

He also said they would arrange mass hearings after the probe report was filed.

Chairman of the Biman Board of Directors Air Marshal (retd) Jamal Uddin Ahmed did not attend the meeting even though the parliamentary body had asked him through a letter to be there.

Biman's acting managing director A.M. Mosaddique Ahmed attended the meeting.

Pointing to a large leased aircraft leaving Biman's services without informing the carrier, which caused passengers to be stranded in Muscat, Mainuddin Khan Badal said they would look into the lease contract to see if there were any legal loopholes.

He said if problems were found, they would also look into the people behind signing of the faulty contract.

Our staff correspondent in Sylhet reports: The finance minister received the passengers of the Biman flight from London at the Sylhet airport.

The flight resumed after about a 10-month pause.

Muhith said direct flights between London and Sylhet would be ensured with the setting up of aircraft refuelling facility at Sylhet airport within six months.

Work on the facility began in 2009 but it is still not done, he noted.

Speaking as special guest, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Faruk Khan said 500 million taka had been sanctioned for the refuelling facilities. He said the Sylhet-London flight would not be stopped in future.

He said soon there would be Sylhet-Jeddah flights for the Hajj pilgrims and that there would be two weekly flights to Jeddah.

Biman Chairman Jamal Uddin chaired the programme.

Many of the 280 passengers, who reached Sylhet yesterday on a Boeing 777, expressed satisfaction over the resumption of the flight but demanded better services from Biman and complained of harassment at customs and immigration lounges.


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