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Special Biman flight returns with 10 survivors from Yangon

  • Published at 04:09 pm May 10th, 2019
crash survivors-BIman-Myanmar-Dhaka Tribune
Ten crash survivors return to Dhaka in a Biman special flight on Friday, May 10, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The flight landed in Dhaka at 10:40pm

A special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines returned from Yangon, Myanmar last night with 10 people who were injured when a Yangon-bound Biman flight crashed while landing in the airport on Tuesday.

The special flight took off from Dhaka for Yangon at 4pm on Friday, and returned to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 10:40pm.

Civil Aviation and Tourism State Minister Mahbub Ali, Secretary Md Mohibul Haque, Additional Secretary Md Mokabbir Hossain, and Biman’s Acting Managing Director and CEO Captain Farhat Hassan Jamil received the returnees.

The returnees are two pilots, two cabin crew members, two ground engineers, and four passengers.

"The incident probably occurred due to bad weather, but we will not be able to confirm before the probe committee ends its investigation," said State Minister Mahbub, adding that Biman would organize for proper treatment of all victims.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also closely following the matter, the state minister added.      

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Shakil Meraj, general manager of Public Relations at Biman, said: “Five of the returnees will be admitted to the hospital for treatment, and the others will go home.”

He further informed that two of the Bangladeshi passengers did not return because of work in Yangon. 

"Biman will bear the treatment expenses of the foreign passengers being treated in Myanmar," Shakil added. 

On Tuesday, 19 people were injured when a Biman flight, a Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, skidded off the runway at the Yangon international airport.

Biman’s Dash 8 contract to expire next year

There are currently three Dash 8 aircraft in the Biman fleet, which were leased out from Canada's Bombardier Inc.

Smart Aviation, the leasing company, brought the aircraft under an agreement with the Bangladesh government signed in February 2015. Biman added the aircraft to its fleet on April later that year. 

Also Read - Biman plane skids off Yangon airport runway

As per the agreement, the lease will expire in April 2020. 

Though the plane did not catch fire, it broke into three parts—with one of the wings damaged heavily, according official sources. 

When contacted, Biman’s Acting Managing Director and CEO Captain Farhat Hassan Jamil said they would know about the reason behind the accident after investigation. “We are currently investigating the incident,” he added.

On January 25, the aircraft was sent to Hyderabad, India for maintenance. 15 days later, it again started facing problems on its way back to Bangladesh, according to Biman sources. 

However, the pilot still risked flying the aircraft to Bangladesh instead of making an emergency landing at an Indian airport. 

Technical glitches surfaced even after the aircraft landed at the Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, which were sorted out afterwards. 

Biman cancels seven more domestic flights

In light of Tuesday's crash Biman Bangladesh Airlines grounded seven flights on domestic routes from Friday to Monday, Biman General Manager of Public Relations Shakil Meraj confirmed, while on Thursday, Biman had also cancelled three of its flights. 

“Seven flights have been cancelled on the Dhaka to Syedpur, Sylhet, Jessore, and Rajshahi routes, till Monday," he said.

The flights were cancelled as a Boeing 737 was grounded for repair, while the Dash-8 aircraft involved in the Myanmar crash became ineffective.

Every year, Biman operates additional flights on domestic routes during Eid, to serve those who are commuting home. According to Shakil, Biman is set to hire two Boeing 737 aircraft to handle the added pressure following the grounding of the planes.

One of the aircraft was set to join the Biman fleet on Friday, while the other plane is expected to join on June 10.

"Once the two new aircraft join the fleet, there should be no problems for passengers," Shakil stated.