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Old June 15th, 2005, 04:02 AM   #1
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Bangladesh - High-Rises Serious Threat to Aircraft

Bangladesh high-rises "serious threat" to aircraft: minister

DHAKA, June 14 (AFP) - New high-rise buildings near Bangladesh's main international airport pose a "serious threat" to aircraft, a report said Tuesday, quoting the country's civil aviation minister.

To reduce the risk to aircraft using Zia International Airport in the capital Dhaka, the country's Civil Aviation Authority has asked planning authorities to take steps to resolve the situation, the private UNB news agency quoted minister Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin as saying in parliament late Monday.

It did not specify whether this would mean the buildings being demolished.

The former garden city is in the midst of a building boom with hundreds of new multi-storey buildings springing up over the past decade.

Experts say many of the high-rises do not comply with building regulations, with some owners bribing corrupt officials or simply going ahead without planning approval.

Earlier this year, media reports said officials had identified 200 buildings in Dhaka, including 66 close to Zia International, that were considered a hazard to air traffic.

"If these buildings are not demolished, accidents could happen at any time," the English-language Financial Express quoted a Civil Aviation Authority official as saying.

Bangladesh has around 700 buildings of 10 storeys or more, according to the country's biggest lift dealer Aziz and Co. Work has just begun on a 37-storey office block billed as the country's highest yet.

Dhaka is hemmed in by a network of rivers that prevents it from expanding outward. It has increasingly turned to high-rise developments to accommodate an ever-growing population that has shot up from one million in 1971 to at least 12 million and rising.

Geologists have also warned that many illegal structures would be likely to collapse in the event of an earthquake and predicted that thousands of people would be killed. Bangladesh is prone to earthquakes as it lies close to the junction of three tectonic plates.

The Civil Aviation Authority has repeatedly refused to be drawn publicly on the threat posed to air traffic by the buildings.

The minister made the statement in response to a parliamentary question.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 01:25 AM   #2
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Bangladesh starts demolishing high-rises to stop threat to aircraft

DHAKA, Aug 29 (AFP) - Bangladesh work crews Monday began bulldozing morfe than 100 high-rise buildings in the capital Dhaka after authorities said they posed a danger to planes using the international airport.

The workers started demolishing the buildings after the Civil Aviation Authority said they were a hazard to aircraft using Dhaka's Zia International Airport because they are too close to the runways and terminal.

"We started the demolition drive today at the Civil Aviation Authority's request and it will continue until October," government magistrate Mohammad Helaluddin told AFP.

Most of the buildings being knocked down "were constructed without any approval from us," said Shah Alam Chowdhury, a spokesman for the Civil Development Authority, Dhaka's building approval and planning authority.

"If these buildings are not demolished, accidents could happen at any time," Chowdhury said. The tallest building being knocked down is six storeys high.

Dhaka, a congested city of 12 million that was once known as the "garden city," is in the midst of a building boom. Hundreds of multi-storey buildings have sprung up over the past decade.

Many do not comply with building regulations, authorities say.

Some builders bribe officials to get permission or go ahead without approval. Corruption is a major problem in Bangladesh that the government says it is seeking to curb.

Dhaka is hemmed in by a network of rivers that prevent it from expanding outward. It has increasingly turned to high-rise developments to accommodate its ever-growing population that stood at just one million in 1971.
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Old July 30th, 2006, 02:34 AM   #3
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✈ | 4H/BG/RX/VQ/BS | Bangladeshi Airports and Aviation Developments

Bangladesh national airline scraps New York flights to save cash

DHAKA, July 29, 2006 (AFP) - Cash-strapped national carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines suspended Saturday flights to New York in a bid to cut massive losses and said it plans to halt services to other international destinations soon.

"The last Biman flight to New York flew today. With this flight, we've suspended all our flights to New York to reduce our losses," Biman's spokesman Khan Mosharraf Hossain told AFP.

"The company used to lose 10.4 million taka (149,210 dollars) for every flight to New York. And the loss was getting bigger because of our ageing aircraft and soaring cost of aviation fuel," he said.

State-run Biman would also soon suspend flights to Frankfurt, Paris and Yangon under its cost-cutting measures, he added, but did not say exactly when.

Biman racked up a record loss of more than 120 million dollars in the financial year ended June 30, 2006 due to higher fuel and maintenance costs. In the previous year it lost 41 million dollars.

Officials said the company was also set to incur huge losses in the current financial year because of increasing jet fuel prices and a jump in the cost of fleet maintenance.

Biman currently travels to more than two dozen international destinations with five DC-10 aircraft that are at least 20 years old, four Airbus 310s bought in the early 1990s and three Fokker F-28 aircraft.

Earlier in May Biman launched a move to find a "strategic partner" in an effort to return to profitability but so far no regional airlines have come forward, an official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Under any deal, a strategic partner would manage Biman and supply aircraft in exchange for access to the national flag carrier's guaranteed destinations.

Last October, Biman's board approved a sale of a 61 percent stake in the company to private investors in an effort to raise money to buy new aircraft for its dilapidated fleet.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 08:43 AM   #4
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Bangladesh carrier seeks strategic partner

DHAKA, Aug 29 (Reuters) - State-owned Biman Bangladesh Airlines is looking for an international strategic partner in a bid to rescue the loss-making national carrier.

Biman has projected a 6.91 billion taka ($99.13 million) loss for the year to next June, hit by soaring fuel prices, and owes 12 billion taka ($172.2 million) to state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corp. (BPC), the only fuel supplier to local airlines.

Managing Director Abdul Momen told Reuters the airline had launched a tender for a partner from "internationally reputed airlines".

"If we get a suitable partner, Biman can come back to form," Momen said, adding the tender would close by Oct. 11.

Biman's financial position meant it could not get back five planes -- two DC-10s, one Airbus and two Fokker F-28s -- it recently sent abroad for repairs by foreign airlines.

Left with just eight aircraft, Biman has had to cut some of its 25 international flights, and officials warned of further cuts to come.

In May, State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir said the government would sell a 61 percent stake in Biman through an initial public offering, listing the shares on the Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges.
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 12:55 PM   #5
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I guess they'll retain links with Britain though? A real shame... I hope someone comes forward to help them.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 07:45 AM   #6
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Pilots at Bangladesh's troubled national carrier demand their pay

DHAKA, Sept 3, 2006 (AFP) - More than 50 pilots from Bangladesh's financially troubled national carrier Biman protested Sunday in the capital to demand payment of their salaries and a 95-million-dollar government bailout.

"Curb corruption, rescue Biman," they chanted, pledging to stage more protests along with other unions later Sunday as the national carrier announced it would cancel flights to Paris and Frankfurt to save cash.

"We want regular payments. Last month, we got salary for 20 days. This month, we don't know whether we will get the salaries at all," said Sayeed Mahmud Helal, general secretary of Biman's pilot association.

"We want a curb on corruption as nearly 6,000 Biman employees are suffering because of the corruption of a few people," he said.

Biman racked up a record loss of more than 120 million dollars in the financial year ended June 30, 2006, due to higher fuel and maintenance costs. In the previous year, the carrier lost 41 million dollars.

The pilot's association Sunday called for a 95-million-dollar government bailout to rescue the carrier and keep it under state control.

Last week, Biman launched an international hunt for strategic partners among the world's leading airlines to save the carrier.

Biman said a partner would manage and supply aircraft in exchange for access to the national flag carrier's dozens of international destinations, and might even be offered an equity stake.

Biman operates 155 domestic and 25 international flights a week with five DC-10 aircraft that are at least 20 years old, four Airbus 310s bought in the early 1990s and three Fokker F-28 aircraft.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 07:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Blood English Heart
I guess they'll retain links with Britain though? A real shame... I hope someone comes forward to help them.


According to their website, they fly to the UK, and the New York route is still on there even though it's not on the schedule.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 11:55 AM   #8
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No hope in sight

There is very little hope for this airline, if any. There is rampant corruption at all levels and that drains a lot of money from the airline. I have heard that at times people (passengers) are turned away (saying the flight is completely sold out) if they refuse to pay bribes and in the end the planes fly way below capacity (sometimes half empty or worse). Unless the corruption is checked, I doubt anything can be done.

The passenger pool available to this airline is huge and increasing every year. Unfortunately, the passengers are taken away by other operators such as Emirates, Qatar Airways, and other airlines. All these other airlines have greatly increased their frequency to the Dhaka airport.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #9
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Corruption @ High Levels in Bangladesh?

Is it Bangladesh that ranked number one in the survey which ranks countries by prevailence of government corruption or was it Sri Lanka?
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Old September 6th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #10
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Bangladesh....I remember a professor showing us a chart of the most corrupt countries and Bangladesh was numero uno..
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Old September 6th, 2006, 12:18 PM   #11
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@ gohorns

This is really sad news considering that Biman Bangladesh Airlines is Bangladesh's largest, if not only, major airline.

As I read in wikipedia:
  • Air Bangladesh has only one aircraft. Moreover, this aircraft is banned in the E.U.
  • Bismillah Airlines is a freighter service airline.
  • GMG Airlines only operates three Bombardier aircraft.
  • Z-Airways & Services is, obviously, a very small airline due to the lack of even an article regarding it at wikipedia.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cebuano Exultor
This is really sad news considering that Biman Bangladesh Airlines is Bangladesh's largest, if not only, major airline.

As I read in wikipedia:
  • Air Bangladesh has only one aircraft. Moreover, this aircraft is banned in the E.U.
  • Bismillah Airlines is a freighter service airline.
  • GMG Airlines only operates three Bombardier aircraft.
  • Z-Airways & Services is, obviously, a very small airline due to the lack of even an article regarding it at wikipedia.
Yeah it is sad. I think there is huge potential for an airline in the country IF it can make adequate investment in airliners (good ones, not old junk that the FAA and the EU will reject permits for). Along with that, the government would also have to scale back the invasion of foreign airlines so that the new airline has some breathing room initially to develop and grow. Lastly, the country has to be more stable and the workers and unions will have to be patient and not disrupt services of the airline or the airport as that is very damaging not only in terms of revenue but image as well.

That would probably be a good starting point. Some of that might be possible if a foreign partner can be found. Maybe they can whip some of the people into shape and inject the necessary investments into aircraft and such, which can be daunting for local investors.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 01:12 PM   #13
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@ gohorns Re: Bangladesh's Potential

Does Bangladesh have the potential? Like, hell yeah! I mean, it has like, what, a hundred and forty million people! Bangladesh is one of the largest nations in the world. The potential scheduled air traffic passenger market is huge! With that premise established, Bangladesh is perhaps one of the least served air traffic markets in the world.

Oh, and I have to agree with you on the notion that Biman's pilots would need to be more patient. I mean, it'll only get worse if they'll have a strike since Biman will suffer even more losses.

Imho, however, the problems of corruption is stemmed and/or rooted in a certain country's culture.
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Last edited by The Cebuano Exultor; September 6th, 2006 at 01:18 PM.
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Old September 7th, 2006, 03:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cebuano Exultor
Does Bangladesh have the potential? Like, hell yeah! I mean, it has like, what, a hundred and forty million people! Bangladesh is one of the largest nations in the world. The potential scheduled air traffic passenger market is huge! With that premise established, Bangladesh is perhaps one of the least served air traffic markets in the world.

Oh, and I have to agree with you on the notion that Biman's pilots would need to be more patient. I mean, it'll only get worse if they'll have a strike since Biman will suffer even more losses.

Imho, however, the problems of corruption is stemmed and/or rooted in a certain country's culture.

There is no question that the country does have potential. There is a lot getting in the way of realizing that potential. And, yes, the problems of corruption are often stemmed/rooted in a country's or society's culture but that doesn't make it acceptable. Something has to be done sooner rather than later to root out the corruption or at least bring it under some control.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 05:25 AM   #15
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Resuce plan for ailing Bangladesh airline amid job loss fears

DHAKA, Feb 20, 2007 (AFP) - Bangladesh government officials have been given 10 days to come up with a rescue plan for the country's ailing national carrier amid fears of massive job losses, an airline chief said Tuesday.

In the year to last June, Biman Bangladesh Airlines racked up losses of over 120 million due to higher fuel and maintenance costs.

"The government has formed a high-powered committee led by the civil aviation secretary to suggest ways to make Biman profitable. The committee will have 10 days to come up with a plan," said the airline's managing director M.A Momen.

"The committee will suggest new route plans for the airline and how to clear Biman's massive debt of nearly 15 billion taka (217 million dollars) to the state-owned petroleum company," he said.

Momen did not say whether job cuts were expected although a private news agency said Tuesday some 2,000 employees could face the axe.

Biman has a workforce of more than 5,000.

The move came as Momen said the company would incur losses of nearly 58 million dollars in the year ending in June 30. Losses in the year to June 2005 were 41 million dollars.

Last weekend, Biman cut all but three of its domestic flights in attempt to stem the company's financial crisis.

Last year the airline also suspended flights to Tokyo, New York, Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt and Mumbai.

It now travels to just 20 international destinations with five DC-10 aircraft that are at least 20 years old, four Airbus 310s bought in the early 1990s and four Fokker F-28 aircraft.

The company last year launched a move to find a "strategic partner" in an effort to return to profitability but so far no regional airlines have come forward.

Under any deal, a strategic partner would manage Biman and supply aircraft in exchange for access to the national flag carrier's guaranteed destinations.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 06:58 AM   #16
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Bangladesh Govt to Sack 2,500 Biman Airline Workers: Report

DHAKA, May 10 Asia Pulse - Bangladesh's embattled state-owned airline Biman Bangladesh is set for a major shake-up with reports claiming the nation's interim government is poised to retrench 2,500 employees as part of plans to transform the flag-carrier into a public company.

According to an article in The New Nation, the staff will be stood down in two phases, with 1,500 scheduled to be dismissed in June.

Bangladesh's Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism has already sought Tk 5 billion (US$72.4 million) from the Ministry of Finance to fund the retrenchments.

The remaining 1,000 workers will be stood down from Biman's services division at a later date, the newspaper said.

Biman's aging fleet have been involved in a string of safety incidents, the most recent of which saw 14 people injured when the nose gear of a Airbus A310-300 collapsed prior to takeoff. Since 2004 Biman has been forced to write off a DC-10 and a Fokker F-28 due to accidents.

The company also owes approximately US$174 million to the nation's state-owned fuel supplier Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.

In light of these problems, the caretaker government appointed a committee to suggest ways to reduce the growing losses of Biman, and transform it into a competitive airliine. The latest retrenchment plans stem from the committee's urgent recommendation that Biman's 5,500 strong workforce be slashed by 50 per cent.

The caretaker government will seek access to World Bank funds to help bankroll the retrenchment program, The New Nation reports.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 05:22 PM   #17
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Int'l airports warn BA against erratic flight schedule
The Press Trust of India Limited

Dhaka, Nov 2 (PTI) Bangladesh's national flag carrier, Biman Airlines, has come under censure from foreign aviation authorities, including Heathrow airport, for repeatedly failing to maintain flight schedules.

The authorities have also warned the airlines of not granting slots if it failed to be punctual.

In an e-mail to Biman, the slot coordination committee of British Airways Authority (BAA) has said, "Data in the attached spreadsheet shows that punctuality of BG (two-letter code for Biman Bangladesh Airlines) flights during summer 2007 has been on average over three hours late, which is more than three time worse than any other carrier at Heathrow." Quoting the email, the 'Daily Star' reported that Britain's Heathrow Airport, one of the busiest international airport, has asked Biman to use the comparatively less busy landing facilities in Stansted and Gatwick if it wanted to continue to operate in London.

The email also said that Biman should not expect any slot to be available in the pool for summer 2008.

Several other airport authorities including Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait and Rome have also warned the airliner to be punctual or that they would impose fines and scrap agreements on slots, the prescribed timing for arriving and departure of flights.

Dubai International Airport in a recent letter to Biman, while complaining that its failure to maintain flight schedule hampered arrivals and departures of other airliners, has asked it to regularise its slot or be exposed to fines or cancellation of slots. Whether domestic or local, Biman cannot fly to its destination on time and four-five hours' flight delay has become a normal event, a Biman high official told the newspaper.

"They [busy airport like Heathrow, Dubai] have to hold aircraft both in the sky and on the ground for our delay. Biman needed more aircraft otherwise the situation will not improve," the official admitted.

On July 7, around 200 Biman passengers were stranded at the Zia International Airport (ZIA) as the flight scheduled to carry them was delayed by 39 hours due to technical glitches and lack of planes.

Two days later, another Biman flight, this time to London, was delayed for about a day at ZIA due to technical problems. In July and August the situation worsened so much that flights were delayed 20-39 hours and flights had to be cancelled.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines with a fleet of five DC-10s, three Airbuses and four F-28s turned into the country's largest public limited company in July this year after incurring cumulative losses over the years as a state-run entity.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 06:55 PM   #18
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Bangladesh gets fourth private passenger airline

DHAKA, Oct 13, 2007 (AFP) - A fourth private airline is set to take off in Bangladesh amid a boom in the air travel market following the scrapping of flights by the state-run airline, an official said Saturday.

Royal Bengal Airlines, owned by London-based Bangladeshi expatriates, will start flying domestic routes within four weeks and a London-Dhaka flight via the Middle East would begin by year end, said the company's director Abdus Shukur.

The airline has purchased one Dash-8 aircraft and will add another within a month to operate flights to southeastern Chittagong and notheastern Sylhet from the capital Dhaka, he said.

It was also negotiating with a London-based airline to lease a 400-seater Boeing 747 to operate long-haul flights, he added.

"We see a booming air travel market in Bangladesh and the market is very much under-served," Shukur said.

He said the cancellation of domestic and international flights by the cash-strapped Biman Bangladesh airlines had opened up "lucrative opportunities for the private operators."

"It's a golden time for the private airlines. The number of air passengers are growing at a double-digit rate. Yet Biman is scrapping one after another of its routes," he said.

Royal Bengal will be the fourth Bangladeshi private passenger airline. Presently United Airlines and GMG are operating, with GMG flying to both domestic and international destinations.

In March, Kuwait-based Aqeeq Aviation Holding bought a 70 per cent stake in the leading air-cargo operator Best Aviation in order to start another passenger airline although it has yet to launch its services.

Biman racked up record losses of more than 100 million dollars in the financial year ended June 30, 2007 because of higher fuel and maintenance costs. In the previous year it lost 120 million dollars.

Biman this year stopped all but three of its domestic routes after suspending flights to Tokyo, New York, Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt and Mumbai in a bid to cut costs.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 05:38 AM   #19
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Bangladesh's Biman to buy 8 Boeing planes for 1.26 billion dollars

DHAKA, March 10, 2008 (AFP) - Bangladesh's ailing national carrier Biman will buy eight new Boeing aircraft for 1.26 billion dollars as part of a fleet overhaul to help make the airline profitable, a minister said on Monday.

"We want to give a new face to Biman," Civil Aviation Minister Mahbub Jamil told reporters.

US planemaker Boeing edged out European rival Airbus for the contract to supply the planes to state-owned Biman, which has been posting huge financial losses and is facing fierce competition from smaller, private rivals.

"Biman's board has decided to procure four Boeing 777-300ER and four 787-8 aircraft as part of the fleet overhaul," the minister said.

"Our aim is to make Biman profitable by the next financial year. Already we hope it will break even this year... as we've made it more efficient," he said.

The eight aircraft will bring Biman Bangladesh Airline Ltd's fleet strength to 20.

Biman has already laid off 2,000 workers, plans to axe 2,000 more posts and has suspended eight loss-making international flights and four domestic routes under its restructuring drive.

"The eight new aircraft will cost 1.26 billion dollars with each 777-300ER costing 182 million dollars and 787-8 plane 133 million dollars. We'll sign a preliminary agreement by March 15. A final deal will be signed by April 15," Jamil said.

Boeing will hand over the 463-seat 777-3003R between July and August 2013 and the 294-seat 787-8 between July-December 2017, Jamil said.

Biman's board reviewed bids from both Airbus and Boeing, but chose the US company as it proposed to train pilots, upgrade airports and help in engineering and marketing for Biman as part of the deal, Jamil said.

"But Biman will negotiate with Airbus next month for procuring short-haul aircraft," he said.

Biman posted a record loss of more than 120 million dollars for the financial year ending June 2006 and is expected to announce a 100 million dollar loss for the following financial year on soaring global fuel prices and higher-than-expected maintenance costs.

"It's the first time in Biman's 35-year history that the national flag carrier is purchasing aircraft directly from the manufacturer and it's being done transparently," Jamil said.

Critics have said prevous aircraft purchase deals were shady.

Bangladesh's military-backed government took power in January 2007, pledging to clean up the country's notorious corruption before reinstating democracy later this year.

The national carrier started in 1972 with a vintage Dakota DC-3 aircraft, less than a month after the South Asian nation won independence from Pakistan. Its current fleet includes five 20-year-old DC-10 planes which officials say must be replaced within a few years.

Before the new planes are delivered, Boeing will lease Biman four used 777-300 ER in 2009 and 2010 and four used 787-8 in 2011-12 to help the airline cope with a growing passenger load.

Jamil said the Boeing plane purchases will be financed by the US Export-Import Bank and a syndicate of local banks.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 04:21 AM   #20
Shezan
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suppose they'll plan a livery maquillage
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