Biman plans to expand fleet, wings

In a bid to expand its fleet and wings, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, now operating on two domestic and 18 international routes, has decided to appoint a reputed international agency for assisting Biman in sourcing a variety of aircraft for both domestic and international routes.
The national flag carrier has floated a tender in this connection couple of weeks back on its website.
Biman general manager (corporate planning) Md Belayet Hossain said the source will be used to expand Biman’s fleet for use on domestic and international routes.He said that the source, which will be appointed by the national flag carrier, will supply various kinds of aircraft from time to time.
Currently, Biman has four 777-300ERs, two 737-800s, one 777-200ER and two A310-300s in its fleet.
Meanwhile, Biman is likely to resume its domestic flights on different routes at the end of the current year. Confirming the matter, a well placed source at Biman told the news agency that the domestic flights of Biman except Dhaka-Chittagong-Dhaka and Dhaka-Sylhet-Dhaka has been suspended since 2008.
He said Biman has planned to regain its share in the domestic market as well as in the international routes.
The airliner on its website said Biman is in a bid to operate more domestic destinations, as such procuring two Turbo-Prop aircraft.
Biman in the tender mentioned that it will include a variety of jet and turboprop aircraft for its ambitious expansion plans over the coming years.
According to the request for proposal (RFP) that has been posted in Biman’s website, it will appoint a reputed international agency for assisting Biman in sourcing a variety of jet and turboprop aircraft for its ambitious expansion plans over the coming years.
Biman will exercise purchase, dry lease or wet lease options to induct aircraft in its fleet, the RFP said.
It said the successful RFP applicant should also negotiate recompense from the aircraft owners/lessors/agents, etc without affecting the final price paid by Biman.
The selected aircraft procurement agency will not be paid any commission or service charge and/or any form of payment from Biman for providing the services.
The RFP also mentioned that the applicant must be a fully incorporated company, and not an individual, that has been in existence for more than five (5) years.
Documentary proof should be sent at time of application, and full details of company ownership are to be provided. This means Biman will not entertain any individual or middleman during the aircraft induction.
It also said that the applicant must not be owned or partly owned by any one aircraft leasing/ownership source, to ensure full impartiality of aircraft selection; must have proven track record of placing aircraft from multiple sources, to at least five (5) airlines, must have proven track record of placing a variety of different aircraft types; and must be prepared, after successful selection, to provide full written mandate both from aircraft owners/leasing companies, and airlines/aircraft operators.
The last date of submission of the tender paper is April 24, 2014 (10 am local time).
Recently, Biman received new Boeing 777-300 extended range, named Raanga Pravat, and the 777-200ER leased from Egypt Air.
According to the Biman website, Biman signed an agreement with Egypt Air Holding Company for dry lease of two 777-200ER aircraft which are expected to join the fleet in March/April 2014.
Raanga Pravat is the fourth B777 to join the national carrier’s fleet as part of the government’s 2008 deal for 10 new aircraft with Boeing.
The US-based plane maker is to deliver two B737s and four Dreamliner B787s by 2020. Boeing will hand over the two 737-800 aircraft by November and December 2015 and pre-delivery payments for the two aircraft have already been made.
On the possible handover of four more 787-8 aircraft from Boeing by 2019 and 2020, a request has already been made to Boeing to make the deliveries by 2015-16. Boeing has sent some proposals which the Biman management is scrutinising.
In order to modernize Biman fleet with new generation aircraft, Biman signed two agreements with Boeing in April and May 2008 for purchasing new generation four 777-300ERs and 787-8s and two 737-800s.
Four 777-300ER aircraft already joined the Biman fleet. Besides, two 737-800s and four new 787-8s are scheduled to be delivered by Boeing in November/December 2015 and 2019-2020. According to Civil Aviation Association of Bangladesh (CAAB) data, in 2020 the number of passengers will reach 10.2 million from 5.8 million and the increased air cargo will be 3.6 lakh tonnes from 2.3 lakh tonnes.
Of the total 5.8 million passenger and cargo carriages involving a market of around US$ 440 million annually, Biman has around 15 percent stake. – UNB