Staff Correspondent: As many as 3,41,482 (23%) out of 1,477,456 seats on Biman flights operating on different international routes were vacant in the last six months, according to a recent report.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines submitted the report to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism on Tuesday.
Earlier, the panel wanted to know why Biman tickets had not been selling and sought information on overall ticket sales. Biman prepared the report examining data from flights to 68 destinations in the past six months.
There were over 1.47 million seats available on those flights from June to November. Of them, over 1.13 million were booked, and some 341,000 remained vacant. However, not all flights had the same percentage of vacant seats. Some had very few seats vacant while more than half were vacant on flights on some routes.
On flights from Muscat to Dhaka, out of 17,665 seats, 9,285 were vacant – 53% of seats were empty on this route.
Meanwhile, 45% of seats on the Abu Dhabi-Dhaka route were found to be vacant.
On the other hand, flights from Dhaka to Muscat, Chittagong to Muscat, Dhaka to Riyadh and Chittagong to Jeddah were almost full. On those flights, 80%-90% of seats were occupied.
However, the report did not mention any specific reason for the seats remaining vacant.
There have complaints that people do not get Biman tickets even if seats are vacant.
The issue was also discussed in parliament.
Jatiya Party lamaker Md Mujibul Haque earlier said Biman tickets were not available if many seats remained empty.
Rumeen Farhana, who recently quit as an MP, said agencies themselves booked tickets, and Biman suffered losses once they were cancelled.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali said one should lodge a complaint if one did not get a Biman ticket despite there being vacant seats on the flight.
He also assured that anyone found to be involved in ticket manipulation would face legal action.
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