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Biman to resume Kuala Lumpur, Guangzhou flights from next week

  • Published at 02:51 pm August 11th, 2020
File photo of a Biman Bangladesh Airlines aircraft at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Passengers get quarantine facility at Osmani International Airport, Sylhet

Biman Bangladesh Airlines has decided to resume its regular flights on Malaysia and Guangzhou routes after a three-month hiatus over the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Biman Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mokabbir Hossain confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday.

The national flag carrier will operate regular flights to Guangzhou, China - from August 16, while flights to Malaysia will also start from next week, the Biman CEO said.

Currently, US-Bangla Airlines and China Southern are operating flights to Guangzhou.

Mokabbir said Biman is initially planning to provide cargo services to Malaysia. However, it will also use its passenger aircrafts for chartered cargo like other international carriers.

The national flag carrier is now operating scheduled flights to three destinations --- London, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai --- while continuing to operate special chartered flights amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Passengers get quarantine facility at Sylhet airport

Recently, the government directed the concerned authority to ensure a quarantine facility for passengers landing at Osmani International Airport, Sylhet.

According to the directive, from August 10, Biman flights will directly land from London to Sylhet then again will land at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) from Sylhet.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism has already asked the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to take all kind preparation to prevent Covid-19 infection at airports and provide passengers with necessary facilities.

Regarding the directive, Dr Shahnila Ferdousi, line director at the Centre for Disease Control at DGHS said: “We have directed the concerned civil surgeon to take care of the matter and ensure health facilities under the Armed Forces Division.”

Also Read- Turkish Airlines to resume flights to Dhaka from Friday

The government has a quarantine facility at Dhaka. A quarantine facility has also been set up at Sylhet, the Biman CEO said.

“We are waiting for the situation to become normal to operate direct London-Sylhet-London flight. It will not be commercially viable for Biman to operate flights to thus route during the pandemic,” Mokabbir added.

However, early this year, a team of the Department for Transport (DFT) of the United Kingdom (UK) was supposed to visit for checking and audit of overall security systems and management at Sylhet airport. 

But the team did not come due to the coronavirus pandemic. Biman could operate direct flights to London after their filed report and decisions concerning the two countries, the Biman CEO said.

In June 2019, A team of UK representatives had visited the HSIA and given tag standard category-1 to compare other international Airports. 

Biman to get 3 new aircrafts 

Biman will get three more new Dash-8 Q400 NG aircrafts to its fleet,  which will increase the total number of the aircrafts in Biman’s  fleet to19. 

One of the three aircrafts its will be added in November this year, while the other two will be added in January 2021.

Bombardier Inc., the Canadian aircraft manufacturer, was scheduled to deliver the three aircrafts in March, May and June this year. The concerned company could not deliver the aircrafts on time due to the pandemic.

Biman is planning to operate the three new aircrafts on domestic routes. 

After resuming domestic operations on a limited scale from June 1, Biman has been losing passengers as private airlines are operating two flights on all domestic routes every day.