cchan
Posts: 954
Joined: Sat May 17, 2003 8:54 pm

Biman Bangladesh - Aircraft Schedule Question

Mon Oct 13, 2003 3:14 pm

How good is Biman for providing service on the aircraft listed in their schedule? Say, if the scheduled aircraft on the BG703 flight from Dhaka to Kathmandu is a Fokker 28, what's the chance of going on a Fokker 28 on that flight? Thanks.
 
planemannyc
Posts: 939
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 12:54 am

RE: Biman Bangladesh - Aircraft Schedule Question

Tue Oct 14, 2003 1:18 am

Biman is notorious for schedule changes and equipment switches. This happens for two main reasons: some aircraft have become so old that dispatch reliability is extremely low. The other reason is that the government whimsically can ask for Biman to fly ministers and other officials to domestic and foreign destinations, creating havoc for flight planners and taking away dedicated aircraft from scheduled routes. So, the chances that the flight will have the same aircraft as listed is not even close to reliable.
 
Vimanav
Posts: 1440
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 4:33 am

RE: Biman Bangladesh - Aircraft Schedule Question

Tue Oct 14, 2003 2:24 am

I can second.. Planemannyc's comments. I just returned yesterday from DAC via CCU and had the B733. Their sched especially to nearby cities like CCU, KTM etc are notorious for irregular aircraft ops. You may suddenly find the A310 or even the DC10 for the 146nm route to CCU - a mere hop skip and jump which entails barely 20 minutes of flight time.

I was very hopeful of getting the F28 on the return after somebody in BG assured me that it would be the F28. But I ended up on the 733. But then I am not complaining as I had not been on a BG 733 earlier.

rgds//Vimanav
Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
 
planemannyc
Posts: 939
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 12:54 am

RE: Biman Bangladesh - Aircraft Schedule Question

Tue Oct 14, 2003 3:50 am

Vimanav,

Did you notice that BG has 3 daily service scheduled between DAC and CCU for the winter...two dailies with 733 and one F28. An interesting note is that the frequencies are not scattered randomly...flights depart every day at 10:23, 14:20 and 19:00 and returns are scheduled at 11:30, 15:20 and 19:50. At least that's an improvement. The first two flights are 733s and the last one F28. Question is will they be able to maintain the schedule / equipment?

All the best,

Wasim
 
swissgabe
Posts: 5147
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 4:57 am

RE: Biman Bangladesh - Aircraft Schedule Question

Tue Oct 14, 2003 4:38 am

When I flew Biman following happend:

BKK-RGN-DAC a AB3 was loaded (Bimand didn't have AB3 and the flight was operated by an 310)

DAC-CGP was loaded with F28 and I flew on F28

CXB-CGP was loaded as F28 and I flew it

CGP-DAC was loaded as D10 flight and I flew the Dc10
Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
 
cchan
Posts: 954
Joined: Sat May 17, 2003 8:54 pm

RE: Biman Bangladesh - Aircraft Schedule Question

Wed Oct 15, 2003 2:52 am

Looks like the chance of getting the scheduled aircraft type is 50/50

Are the F28 flights nice at all?
 
planemannyc
Posts: 939
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 12:54 am

RE: Biman Bangladesh - Aircraft Schedule Question

Wed Oct 15, 2003 3:06 am

cchan,

The F28 had entered service with Biman in 1980. The airline took long enough to realize that it is no longer a good fit for its needs, so not much has been done to refurbish the interiors lately. Biman has opted to sell the three F28s (which are often grounded due to equipment maintenance needs), for Dash 8s or ATR42/72s. So, you may not find the interior all too appealing. However, this is only based on what I know, I have not flown on a F28 for 4 years, and the interiors were quite worn out even then. I suspect Gabe can give you a more up to date report on the conditions of the planes.

As for flights on F28, I like them just as much as any other. I think the aircraft is well designed, and around this time of the year, should be smooth flying. Are you flying any time soon? Between what cities?

Regards,

Wasim
 
swissgabe
Posts: 5147
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 4:57 am

RE: Biman Bangladesh - Aircraft Schedule Question

Wed Oct 15, 2003 4:14 am

I fully agree to what Planemannyc said. The interior design (mainly colors and seat style) of BGs F28 are very similar to the BG DC10 one's. Some F28 have a 2/3 config and others have 3/2 config. I don't know the reason. Another F28 I flew last May was Myanma Airways. I had the feeling that the BG F28 was a bit in a better condition, but only a bit.

If you really want to go on a F28 fly into CXB as example, I don't think that Coxs Bazar Airport would be able to handle anything bigger than a F28.

Planemannyc, do you know what happened to BGs ATPs? I know they have been stored for several years and I have seen a report that Biman wasn't able to sell them and they took them back into service. But I have never seen an ATP loaded in a BG schedule. Do they use them on ad-hoc basis or are they still stored?

Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
 
planemannyc
Posts: 939
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 12:54 am

RE: Biman Bangladesh - Aircraft Schedule Question

Wed Oct 15, 2003 5:22 am

Gabe,

They are 'technically' back in service, but not flown. After years of storing them as the airline could not sell them, last year it was decided to make them airworthy again to re-introduce Biman flights to Barishal (BZL). Unfortunately, there was a crew shortage (I get the feeling that all the ATP pilots were promoted for F28 certification, and no one retained for ATP flights), the plan was given up, and now Biman put out a tender for the trade-in of the three F-28s and two ATPs for three Dash 8s or ATR 42/72. Therefore, I don't think the ATPs are flown at all.

Again, I think this is poor fleet planning on Biman's part. I would think that CRJ or ERJs would be better replacements for F28 and ATP as they would be able to fly to airports like CXB but also allow additional frequencies to RGN and perhaps to cities in India's Northeast. The RJs can work along with the Boeing 737-300s to cover most of Biman's regional / domestic network.

As for F28 being 2-3 and 3-2, I do not know why that is the case. My best guess is that after the plane crash in Sylhet in 1997 (no fatalities, thank god, but w/o of the aircraft) and the subsequent withdrawal of ATP from service lead to an equipment crunch, additional F-28s were brought in quickly (from Indonesia, if I am not mistaken) so they really could not have the time to specify the seating on the a/c.

Gabe, note on an earlier request of yours: Bismillah is offering DAC-CGP-BKK cargo flights on the L1011 and is also seeking passenger rights from DAC to India. GMG has received CAAB approval for international flights, and plans to fly to CCU, DEL and KTM according to press reports. When I interviewed the CEO of GMG, he did tell me that he was very interested in flying to the mid-East, and had done preliminary fleet study for that service.
 
cchan
Posts: 954
Joined: Sat May 17, 2003 8:54 pm

RE: Biman Bangladesh - Aircraft Schedule Question

Wed Oct 15, 2003 3:24 pm

I'm planning to fly from DAC to KTM in November, just trying to determine whether the F28 or 737 is a better choice.
 
Vimanav
Posts: 1440
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 4:33 am

RE: Biman Bangladesh - Aircraft Schedule Question

Wed Oct 15, 2003 6:09 pm

I can probably add to the current state of their ATPs. I could see two aircraft parked in a hangar with an F28 (they had 2 ATPs S2-ACX and S2-ACY or did they have 3?). I did see tenders for the sale of these aircraft in August but they were still there in OCT though clearly not flying.

As far as Bismillah Airlines goes, any idea if they actually commenced DAC-HKG, DAC-CAN and DAC-ICN as they planned to?

Also hows GMG in terms of financial stability? Would they last in the Bangladesh market? Mr. Abdus Sattar seems to be a seasoned businessman.

rgds//Vimanav
Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
 
planemannyc
Posts: 939
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 12:54 am

RE: Biman Bangladesh - Aircraft Schedule Question

Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:06 am

Guys,

You will find this of interest:

<http://www.thedailystar.net/2003/10/15/d3101501077.htm>

Now, if a government official is afraid to fly on the ATPs, can you say much for the aircraft? Who would want ATPs anyway? Last I heard, the offers they got for the two ATPs was below acceptable, but then again, I am even surprised anyone wants them. I

I think Bismillah flies chartered and non-scheduled flights to and from DAC to HKG and SHJ.

As for GMG, they are now breaking even after five years of service. I think they are counting on their international rights as profit generators. Like most companies in BD, capital reserve is hard to build. GMG is open to the idea of selling part of the company to foreign airlines -- and I think Emirates, Gulf, Qatar or BA might find that of some interest. I am overdue to finish up my article on GMG and it might appear here in a few weeks.

Catch you guys later.

Wasim

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