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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2001 10:09 pm

Biman Wants To Get Rid Of F-28 - Month Old

Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:32 am

Only a month into the controversial purchase of two ageing and faulty F-28s, Biman Bangladesh Airlines now wants to sell them off along with three other similar aircraft.

And if it fails to sell these obsolete planes, it would try to trade them in for either Airbus or Boeing that Biman intends to buy.

"But the whole procurement will take at least two to three years as it involves many complicated technical and financial issues," Biman Acting Managing Director Mahmoodur Rahman said at a press conference yesterday at Balaka Bhaban.

Asked why Biman bought the 26-year old faulty F-28s in the first place, he said after two ATP planes were sold off in January, there was a shortage of aircraft in the fleet to operate on eight domestic and 26 international flights. This situation led the airline to buy the F-28s, he claimed.

But Mahmoodur could not give any satisfactory reply as to why Biman did not feel the shortage of aircraft while the two ATPs remained grounded for a long time since 1999 and raised the issue of plane crisis only when it wanted to buy the F-28s.

He, however, said as the two ATPs were missing from the fleet, Biman used two leased Boeing 737 to keep flight schedule uninterrupted. But the fact remains that the Boeing 737s leased from a Singapore company operated flights from February 2003 to April 2004 while the ATPs were in hangar during 1999 to mid-2003.

Failing to justify purchase of the F28s from an Indonesian company at a cost of $2.91 million, the acting managing director then said the planes are of the best technology available in the series at such a price.

About the engine failure of one of the newly procured F-28 in Chittagong on Tuesday, Biman's Director (Engineering) S Zilani Mahbubur Rahman said the plane was repaired and put into operation yesterday.

Although the F-28 failed to start about six times in five weeks, he said this is not unusual. "A plane can experience one fault in 10 flights whereas the two newly procured F-28s faced engine faults eight times in 332 flights since June 3," he added.
Finnair MD-11
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 1999 4:21 am

RE: Biman Wants To Get Rid Of F-28 - Month Old

Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:43 am

Hello all!

I heard that the F28 pilots of Biman refused to fly to Kathmandu because the anti-ice system on their F28s was almost all of the time inoperative. It's risky to fly to an aiport with an elevation of 4459ft without proper anti-ice system. So good news that they are having some new planes to replace those Fokkers.

Finnair MD-11
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:28 am

RE: Biman Wants To Get Rid Of F-28 - Month Old

Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:54 am

It will be another 5 years till they decide what they will (want to ) buy. They have to get settled on who gets what percentage before they come up with something and before you know it, they will have another 2/3 ATPs that don't go off the ground.
Samurai 777
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 2:56 pm

RE: Biman Wants To Get Rid Of F-28 - Month Old

Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:03 am

Biman might likely be strapped for capital, thus perhaps being able to afford only those Fokker F28s.

I don't like to say this, but it might only be a matter of time before at least one of their F28s will end up having a serious accident. I wonder what'll happen if something like did happen? And why on earth are they not bothering to put those ATPs into operations? Are maintenance costs too high for the ATPs?
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 1:22 am

RE: Biman Wants To Get Rid Of F-28 - Month Old

Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:13 am

Now, that is what I call a bureaucrat and disorganized airline.
Posts: 8201
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Biman Wants To Get Rid Of F-28 - Month Old

Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:20 am

The ATP's have been sold to Emerald Airways.

S2-ACX is now G-JEMD
S2-ACY is now G-JEME

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

RE: Biman Wants To Get Rid Of F-28 - Month Old

Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:27 am

Replacing F28 against Boeing and/or Airbus? I wonder what Biman would get.

You really should give a try to Biman. It's a nice little airline with many interesting things around ...

The thing regarding the ATP is very funny. They have been stored for several years and one day Biman announced to operate again flights with the ATP. Several weeks later, there was a report, that the ATPs have been sold ...
Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:34 am

RE: Biman Wants To Get Rid Of F-28 - Month Old

Mon Jul 26, 2004 3:12 am

So, why do they not purchase some ex-AA fokkers???

Bogota, the South american gateway!
Posts: 939
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 12:54 am

RE: Biman Wants To Get Rid Of F-28 - Month Old

Mon Jul 26, 2004 4:09 am

Fokker 50, there may be F-100s over Bangladeshi skies, but most likely not in Biman's colors. Turns out, GMG Airlines is interested in purchasing / leasing F100s for their CGP (Chittagong) - CCU (Kolkata / Calcutta) and DAC-KTM routes. They feel that some of Biman's pilots may be familiar with Fokker aircraft and they may be able to recruit some of them.

The statement by the Civil Aviation minister about the replacement of F28s is quite interesting. It seems the proposals at hand are to sell all 5 F-28s (and yes, GF-A330, those 2 that were bought at suspiciously above market price) and replace them with get this, 2 A320 and 2 A330s or just 2 Boeing 777s. When I read that, I was laughing out aloud.

Bangladesh has only three airports capable of handling A320s and only 2 that can handle the A330 or the B777 -- therefore, does replacing the F28s mean that Biman will drop out of the domestic market? Probably not. They will probably keep the F28s -- or find some other suspicious deal.

The airline does have its good folks, but they are increasingly being outnumbered by corrupt ones. There is no real fleet planning, and no thought to route development. A pair of B737-300s were leased for a year, and some of the regional routes to CCU, BKK, RGN and even domestic routes to ZYL and CGP were stabilized. The current crisis stems from returning the B737 without proper planning. Some things at Biman never change.


Wasim / Planemannyc

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