Biman to buy 8 Boeing aircraft

Biman Bangladesh Airlines will buy eight Boeing aircraft for $1.265 billion in a bid to inject momentum into the troubled national carrier, said a special aide to the chief adviser Monday. Biman will sign a memorandum of understanding on March 15 with the Chicago-based aircraft company's representatives in Dhaka, said special aide Mahbub Jamil who oversees the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism.

bdnews24.com
Published : 10 March 2008, 06:04 AM
Updated : 10 March 2008, 06:04 AM
Dhaka, March 10 (bdnews24.com) – Biman Bangladesh Airlines will buy eight Boeing aircraft for $1.265 billion in a bid to inject momentum into the troubled national carrier, said a special aide to the chief adviser Monday.
Biman will sign a memorandum of understanding on March 15
with the Chicago-based aircraft company's representatives in Dhaka, said special aide Mahbub Jamil who oversees the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism.
Four aircraft are of 777-300 ER series and as many others belong to the 787-8 Dreamliner series.
The state-run Biman will take 85 percent of the funds in loans from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, with a payback period for 12 years.
The remaining 15 percent of the money will come from various local banks, the special assistant said.
The facelift of the ailing Biman is meant to modernise its services.
"We hope Biman will be able to fly in the sky with a new look by the next year," Jamil said at a news briefing at the civil aviation ministry.
The proposed prices of four 777-300 ER series are $182.17 million, $182.51 million, $183.20 million and $184.01 million.
The other four Boeing 787-8 aircraft are priced at $132.83 million, $133.53 million, $133.08 million and $133.81 million.
According to the plan, the four Boeing 777-300 ER series will separately join the Biman fleet in 2013 in months of July, August, October and December while the 787-8 Boeings in July, August, October and November of 2017.
Prior to the inclusion of the new aircraft, Biman will take lease of four more Boeing aircraft, two next year and another two in 2010.
Boeing will provide necessary assistance for the lease agreement, Jamil said.
On March 15, Biman will give $1.54 million to Boeing, Jamil said.
Jamil said they were trying to make a deal for immediately taking lease of one Boeing 747-200 and a Boeing 747 for six months.
On further modernisation of Biman, Jamil said the company's Board of Directors discussed the matter in detail on March 3-9.
"A final decision will come soon," he said.
Replying to a query, Jamil said Biman flight on Dhaka-New York route would resume once the aircraft join the fleet.
He said Biman as a public limited company was "doing well" to overcome losses, and he hoped Biman would make profit in next fiscal year.
Biman has a debt of Tk 1,193 crore to Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.
Currently, Biman has four DC-10s, three Airbus planes and three F-28s.
Singapore Airlines is the largest operator of Boeing 777 family, a long range, wide-bodied twin engine aircraft.
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