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22 July 2024

Business Insider Bangladesh

Biman to buy planes as per evaluation committee report: Faruk

BI Desk || BusinessInsider

Published: 01:03, 8 July 2024  
Biman to buy planes as per evaluation committee report: Faruk

Photo: Collected

Civil aviation and tourism minister M Faruk Khan on Sunday reiterated that Biman Bangladesh Airlines will purchase new aircraft in line with its evaluation committee's recommendation.

"Currently, the evaluation process is undergoing.. and expectedly it will be completed within one or two months," he told reporters after emerging from a meeting with the outgoing US ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas at the secretariat here.

The minister said that currently Biman's evaluating committee is working on proposals from both US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing and European aerospace giant Airbus.

Responding to a question, Khan said, Biman received a decent proposal from Airbus. "It's a competitive world and we would consider the better proposal including the financial and other offers of two companies (Boeing and Airbus)," he added.

About the meeting, the minister said he assured the US envoy that Bangladesh will follow its standard procurement policy through tender and evaluation in purchasing the new aircraft.

"Bangladesh always gave preference to purchasing quality products and in future we would follow the same (purchasing process of aircraft)," he said.

The minister said he raised the issue over resumption of Dhaka-New York flight operation through upgrading Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) to category -1 by the US's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

He sought a quick decision from the US side regarding the issue as the resumption of the Dhaka-New York flight is a political commitment of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the countrymen.

Earlier, the Ambassador told the reporters that they discussed friendly bilateral ties, cooperation and partnership between Bangladesh and the US.

Haas noted that different American companies expressed that they want to expand their business in the coming days, especially in the growing aviation sector of Bangladesh.

The tug of war between the two aviation giants continued for more than a year when the Bangladesh government decided to purchase more wide-body planes for the Biman fleet, which is currently dominated by Boeing planes.

The Airbus came to the scene last year when a Joint Communique was signed in London between the UK's Minister of State in the Department of Business and Trade Lord Dominic Johnson and Bangladesh Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman.

The Communique, includes the purchase of 10 A350 aircraft, including two A350 Freighters from the Airbus to establish an aviation and trade partnership to develop Bangladesh's aviation sector.

Seeing the Airbus move to munch Boeing's monopoly in Bangladesh's aviation industry, the US plane manufacturers came up with a proposal to Biman to supply more Boeing wide-body aircraft.

Recently Biman's new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jahid Islam Bhuiyan told media that the state-owned carrier needs might require collaboration with both Boeing and Airbus as the airline targets to add 32 more aircraft to its fleet in the next 10 years.

"Discussions with Airbus have progressed, and a proposal from Boeing is also on the table. Given our high demands, it is likely that a single company will not suffice," he added.