The national flag carrier has floated two tenders in this connection to take the aircraft under dry lease (only aircraft) system for 60 months, UNB reports quoting Biman officials involved in the corporate planning of the airliner.
They said if they find 777-200 or 777-200ER, then they will try to get two aircraft and one 777-300ER. If the two 777-200 or 777-200ER is not available, then Biman will induct another 737-800 along with one 777-300ER.
“We’re hopeful of inducting the new aircraft within the stipulated time,” said a Biman official.
According to the tender document, one 777-200/777-200ER/777-300ER will be pressed into service in between March and June, while 777-200/777-200ER in between November and December. If the airliner takes the 737-800, then it will be commenced in between March and June.
The seat capacity of the 777-200/777-200ER will be 280 in two classes while 419 for the 777-300 ER in two classes and 162 for the 737-800 in two classes. The age of the aircraft must not be more than 15 years, according to the tender paper.
“These aircraft will be used after the phasing out of the two Airbus aircraft — 310-300 –from its fleet,” the official said.
The number of Biman’s aircraft is now 14. Of them, four are 777-300ER, four 737-800, two 777-200ER, two 310-300 and two Dash-8.
In 2008, the national flag carrier went into an agreement with the US company for procuring 10 new generation aircraft – four Boeing 777-300ERs, two Boeing 737-800 and four Boeing 787 Dream-liner.
Boeing has already delivered four 777-300ER and two 737-800 aircraft to Biman.
As per the agreement, Boeing is scheduled to deliver four Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft by 2019-2020. Currently, Biman flies to 15 destinations of Middle East, Europe and Asia.
The Biman official said the new aircraft will also be used on the planned new routes for the airliner. Guangzhou, Male and Colombo are on top of the list for the new routes, he added.
He said Biman is planning to introduce its route to Seoul and increase the frequencies to the Middle Eastern countries.
Biman is currently operating seven flights a week on Dhaka-Dubai-Dhaka route, and it has a plan to increase it to 14 a week.