Biman to return two Egypt Air Boeing jets after counting Tk 3bn loss

Biman Bangladesh Airlines is returning the two Boeing 777-200ER airpcraft that it had brought in on lease from Egypt Air after counting Tk 3.05 billion in losses.

Golam Mujtaba
Published : 19 Dec 2017, 04:33 PM
Updated : 19 Dec 2017, 04:33 PM

Shakil Meraj, the spokesperson for the national carrier, said Biman will return one airplane by March and the other by May next year although the five-year contract with Egypt Air will expire in 2019.

The losses stemmed from engine breakdown, renting of more engines and repairs of the damaged ones since the planes were leased in March and May 2014.

Biman rented two more engines from Egypt Air in the past few years as they kept breaking down. The last breakdown happened in December 2016.

Later, the damaged engines were sent to a company in the US for repairs. But as no delivery date was set for the engines, Biman is still paying rents to Egypt Air and repair fees to the US firm.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee of Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry formed a four-member investigation panel last month after the matter was brought to light by the media.

The probe team’s report mentioned that all the conditions for the two planes’ lease were in favour of Egypt Air, leading Biman to incur the huge loss.

It has recommended sending both Boeings back, saying the renting of these planes and officials’ failure in determining their capability were against Biman’s interest.

The watchdog on civil aviation ministry said the national carrier had made Tk 2.75 billion in profits, but the massive loss has reversed the gains.

It also said the ministry should have supervised the leasing process, but showed ‘extreme negligence’ to the matter.

Biman assigned a consultant to send back Boeing 777-200 as its service turned out unsatisfactory after launch in August last year, Meraj, a general manager for Biman, said.

But, he would not say how much fine the state-owned carrier may need to pay for sending back the planes a year ahead of expiry of the agreement.

Biman has been making profit for the past two years after being in the red for five straight years. It earned a profit of Tk 2.76 billion in fiscal 2015-26.

The carrier currently has four 777-300 ER and two Boeing 737-800 aircraft in its fleet. It also has two Boeing 737-800 jets and uses two Dash 8 or Q-Series airplanes on short routes.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher