Biman Bangladesh Airlines has planned to add more new generation turboprop aircraft to its fleet, aiming to provide better service on its domestic routes and also on some short distance regional ones.
The national flag carrier has also decided to increase its frequencies on some profitable routes like that of Jeddah, Riyadh and Kuala Lumpur after restructuring plans for those routes.
Biman is also taking steps to expand its wings to Guangzhou in China, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Male in the Maldives and Tokyo in Japan in the near future.
A senior official at Biman Corporate Planning told UNB that the national flag carrier is procuring the new generation turboprop aircraft for domestic and short distance international routes.
Biman now has two Dash 8-Q400s turboprop aircraft in its fleet. After the inclusion of these two turboprop aircraft, Biman was supposed to resume its full-fledged domestic flights on April 6 this year.
The national flag carrier suspended its domestic flights on four among seven routes in 2007 due to continuous losses and shortage of aircraft. Later, in 2012, it resumed domestic flights on a limited number of routes, including Dhaka-Chittagong-Dhaka and Dhaka-Sylhet-Dhaka routes.
With the acquisition of two new Dash8-Q400s, the number of aircraft in Biman fleet now stands at 12 -- four Boeing 777-300ERs, the two Airbus A 310-300s, two Boeing 777-200ERs and two Boeing 737-800s.
The official said a plan had been worked out a plan in 2008 to modernise Biman and signed an agreement with Boeing to procure 10 new aircraft based on that.
Of the 10 aircraft, four have already been inducted in Biman’s fleet. As part of the agreement with Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer will deliver two 737-800s in November-December of the current year while four others 787-8 in 2019-20.
"The two 737-800s will be used on new routes and other destinations," the Biman official said wishing not to be named.
He also mentioned that Biman has already suspended flights on some routes, including Rome, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Delhi, as these routes had been losing concern for Biman, but those turned out to be profitable after a couple of years.