Biman’s Dhk-NY-Dhk flight resumption bid looks futile

bimanBiman Bangladesh Airlines’ desperate move to resume its Dhaka-NY-Dhaka flight by hiring crew maintenance insurance (CMI) from a category-1 country looks to be futile as the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) falls far short of attaining the category-1 status.

“It’s not possible right now,” said a well-placed source at Biman, the national flag carrier.

He mentioned that it is not about hiring aircraft from a category-1 country; it is also related to making the CAAB more time-befitting one through modernising its organogram and addressing security concerns.

“Bangladesh has so far failed to obtain the FAA category-1 approval. So any aircraft from this country will not get entry to the USA,” a Biman Board member told UNB wishing anonymity.

“The hiring aircraft on dry lease won’t help get US approval, we need to be world-class as far as the aviation industry is concerned,” he added.

There are two types of lease systems in Aviation business—Dry lease and Wet lease. Dry lease is usually taken for a long term under which the maintenance is done by the rent receiver. Wet lease is taken for short term where the maintenance is the sender’s responsibility.

Earlier, Biman Bangladesh Airlines planned to hire crew, maintenance and flight insurance from a Category-1 country in a move to resume its Dhaka-NY-Dhaka flight.

Currently, Biman is not allowed to fly to the USA as its aircraft are under category-2 of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Biman’s US entry was suspended in July 2006 when the airlines was in the red and had acute shortage of aircraft. A country must have a Category-1 rating from the FAA if it intends to conducts flights to the USA as security is usually their top priority.

Resumption of Dhaka-NY-Dhaka flight is an Awami League’s 2008 general election commitment, UNB reports.

The national flag carrier has floated a request for proposal (RFP) for Crew, Maintenance, Insurance (CMI) partner in its website for operation of 02 (two) of its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to the USA.

In the RFP, Biman said it will initially operate two weekly services to New York via an intermediate point, probably Birmingham, UK.

The aircraft deputed for New York operation, will also be operated to European/Middle East points and other destinations of Biman for optimum utilization. The period of CMI operation will be for one year or two years.

It said the respondent must be able to meet the requirements of US FAA and other US and Bangladesh regulatory authorities. It also must hold a Category-1 AOC for passenger transportation as determined by the US FAA and other US regulatory bodies.

The RFP mentioned that CMI partner must have experience in MI/ACMI operation with any other airlines or operators or must be an international passenger airliner operating with 777-200/300 variant.

CMI Partner must clearly mention their experience in carrying out CMI/ACMI operation with any other Airlines or Operators.

If RFP respondent is not a current Boeing 777 operator, then it must clearly indicate the process and time for arranging maintenance and crew.

June 15 was the last date for the RFP submission.