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Biman Clips HK And Tokyo Flights

Fri Apr 25, 2003 11:04 am

Source : The Daily Star

Biman clips HK, Tokyo flights

Biman's flights to the Middle East, Europe and America as well as its domestic flights will continue uninterrupted despite the damage caused to five aircraft by Tuesday's storm.

State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin gave this assurance at a press briefing yesterday.

Biman however suspended its Dhaka-Tokyo and Dhaka-Hong Kong flights for one week to continue the other international flights.

Earlier, the Dhaka-Hong Kong flight was already suspended in the wake of the SARS crisis, the minister mentioned.

"We are taking immediate measures to repair the damaged aircraft and revive the original strength of Biman," he told the press briefing at the ZIA after inauguration of the Dhaka-Barisal flight at the domestic terminal.

The state minister said it would take hardly one week to complete repair of all the damaged aircraft -- three airbuses, one F28 and one Boeing 737.

About the cost of repair, he said, "We have insurance of US$500 million and we do not need to spend money for this."

He however said he had instructed Biman authorities to find out ways to avoid such incidents in future. The three-member probe body formed in this regard would recommend extra safety measures. It would submit its report within 15 days.

Biman's ground engineers immediately started repair of the Boeing 737 and they were likely to complete the job last night. The Boeing was not damaged severely and it needs only 'cosmetic repair,' Nasiruddin said.

Other sources however said that following clearance from the leasing company, Biman engineers yesterday dismantled the damaged aircraft, excepting the F28, from the spot and started replacing some spare parts.

Meanwhile, engineers of Biman's hanger complex said it might take two to three months to complete the repair due to delay in import of spare parts. A senior official said local experts would repair the severely damaged F28 after importing spare parts.

One of the engineers said repair of the severely damaged F 28 would take at least one month and two airbuses at least three months.

The Biman authorities yesterday started examining the nature of the damages and assessing the financial losses. A team from the insurance company concerned would arrive today, sources said.