Saturday, May 24, 2014

Biman moves to procure foreign crew for New York flight amid concern over financial viability

State carrier Biman is looking for crew, maintenance and insurance coverage for its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from an internationally rated country to resume its Dhaka-New York flight.

The Biman Bangladesh Airlines invited Request for Proposal for crew, maintenance and insurance (CMI) last week as it plans to operate two of its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to the USA, reports BSS.

"Though we are not allowed to fly in the American air space as our own registered aircraft are falling under category- 2 of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), we are looking for alternative ways," Biman's Chairman Jamal Uddin Ahmed told the news agency on Saturday.

The Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAA,B) will not get category- 1 status from the FAA due to the non-compliance issue. So, any aircraft registered from CAA,B will not be allowed to fly in the US. A country must have a Category-1 rating from the FAA, if it intends to operate flight to the US.

As per the FAA criteria, Biman can resume the NY flight with aircraft on wet lease from a category- 1 country. But it won't be possible, if it is taken on dry lease. A wet lease is an arrangement whereby the lessor provides aircraft under ACMI (aircraft, complete crew, maintenance, and insurance) system while under dry lease arrangement the lessor provides only the aircraft.

Biman's officials said the New York flight will not be profitable anyway, if it operates under wet lease arrangement. So the national flag carrier is now looking for acquiring aircraft under a different kind of lease arrangement called CMI (complete crew, maintenance, and insurance).

"Under the CMI, we can operate flight with our own aircraft but crew, maintenance, and insurance will be provided by a category- 1 country," Biman chief said.

MrAhmed said Biman has already conducted an in-house feasibility study and found that the Dhaka-New York flight would be "financially viable", if it gets good CMI offer. The fate of New York flight depends on how much good offer Biman will get from the bidders under the RFP, he added.

Biman chairman is hopeful that if the CMI agreement works, Biman can resume Dhaka-New York flight in the summer of 2015.

"After getting the offers from the RFP, we will do cost per seat calculation. Then, we can say whether the NY flight will be profitable or not," Jamal Uddin said.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.