Staff Correspondent: Salman F Rahman, Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser, has said the Airbus aviation deal was signed to address the current shortage of aircraft of the state-owned Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
“There are demands for more flights on the Dhaka-Sylhet-London route. Chattogram residents also want direct flights to London and the Middle East. But the demands could not be met due to aircraft shortage,” said the adviser in an interview during his recent visit to the UK. He said there are many routes which cannot be used due to an insufficient number of aircraft.
On 5 May, Bangladesh struck the deal with the UK to purchase passenger and cargo aircraft from European aviation giant Airbus.
Under the aviation cooperation deal, he said, Airbus will also establish an aviation university in Bangladesh and train Bangladeshis as discussed in a recent summit in London. In response to criticism about the Airbus deal, Salman F Rahman said, “There were criticisms even when we launched the Dhaka-Toronto flight. People said the route would not last long. But the reality is that Dhaka-Toronto has become the most profitable route for Biman.”
He said, “If we can do business purchasing aircraft after taking credit, what’s wrong with that?”
In defense of the Airbus deal to purchase cargo planes, Salman F Rahman said Biman has no cargo flights.
“Expats living in London and the Middle East demand cargo flights to get perishable items such as fresh vegetables from Bangladesh. Also, our garment factories are dependent on foreign airlines to deliver their orders.That is why we decided to purchase cargo aircraft in addition to passenger planes from Airbus.”
He also mentioned that Biman is all set to launch Dhaka-New York flights.
Relying on revenue to meet budget deficit Savings certificates, bonds and loans taken from…