Biman cuts down flight for Hajj

National carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines has cut down some regular flights to handle the Hajj-bound traffic with its own aircrafts.

Published : 1 June 2014, 05:26 PM
Updated : 1 June 2014, 05:26 PM

Captain Mosaddek Ahmed, Biman’s acting MD told :“ This year's Hajj flights will be operated with our own Boeing 777 aircrafts. So we are going to suspend regular flights on Delhi and Hong Kong routes and cut down on some other flights as well.”

Biman resumed its Delhi and Hong Kong flights after one year on May 4 and May 13 last year.

A top Biman official requesting anonymity told : “Some Biman flights to London, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur and Rome will be cut out.”

“Boeing 777-200 ER has less capacity then Boeing 777-300 ER, so they will be used on normal routes and the bigger aircrafts will be used for Hajj flights,” the official said.

Boeing 777-300 ER has a capacity to carry 419 passengers against Boeing 777-200 ER's capacity for 319.

Biman also may suspend its Frankfurt flight which was resumed after 7 years on March 31 this year, the official said.

“This route is under observation. If it fails to bring much profits in the next few months, the flight could be taken off.”

Biman authority said it has 10 aircrafts including four Boeing 777-300 ER, two Boeing 737, two Airbus A-310 and two hired Boeing 777-200 ER. The Boeing 777-300 ER’s will be used for Hajj.

However, Kazi Wahedul Alam, former Biman Board Director thinks that the organization 'lacks planning’.

“There is no airline around the world that cut off its regular flight for a special operation. This indicates total lack of professionalism.”

“It needs a long time to start a route and it involves investments as well. Biman will lose its reputation for these decisions. “

“Biman operates Hajj flights in a particular time every year. It is all scheduled from very beginning. But they took this kind of decision, I don’t know why.”

No third carrier is included in Hajj operations by both Bangladesh and Saudi Arabian governments for last three years.

Biman on behalf of Bangladesh and Saudi Arabian Airlines and Nas Air from Saudi Arabia is carrying the Hajj pilgrims.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher