A London-bound flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines with 193 passengers on board made an emergency landing at an airport in Jordan last evening.
Biman officials said the Airbus made the emergency landing after a technical fault surfaced while it was on the way from Dubai to London. The Dhaka-Dubai-London flight left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 5:00am yesterday. After a stopover at Dubai, it departed for London.
None of the passengers on board were hurt in the incident.
“We've already requested the Bangladesh Embassy in Jordan to look into the matter and are maintaining close contact with the foreign ministry," said a top Biman official wishing anonymity.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia-bound passengers of Biman Bangladesh Airlines have been facing serious ordeals since last Thursday due to long delays in flight schedules.
The national airline has had to delay flights for up to 40 hours since Thursday due to technical glitches in two DC10 aircraft, Biman officials said.
After a 38-hour wait, 314 passengers bound for Jeddha and Riyadh left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at around 2:00pm yesterday.
A man who had come to see off his brother at the airport told this correspondent that his brother and about 300 others were kept waiting at the airport without any food since Saturday afternoon after receiving immigration clearance.
"Another flight which was scheduled to leave the airport at 2:30am on Sunday with a similar number of passengers will be delayed for around 40 hours," said a Biman official wishing anonymity.
The official said the schedule chaos began after one aircraft was grounded for engine problems and the other for leakage in its hydraulic systems. He said that necessary repairs have been completed on both aircraft. One flight left this morning while the other flight is scheduled to depart tomorrow evening.
While talking to The Daily Star, a number of Biman officials remarked that Biman aircraft become grounded whenever they are about to normalise flight schedules. They suspect that a vested group within the national airlines may have a hand behind it to realise some personal gains. It was suggested that authorities should mount an investigation in the engineering section to stop such practices if there are any.
Biman operates flights to 19 destinations across the globe with a fleet of 11 aircraft, nine of which fly on international routes.
Of the nine aircraft, a triple engine DC-10-30 and a Boeing 737 are now grounded. Another domestic aircraft, a Fokker F-28, is also out of operation due to technical glitches.