Air Marshal (Retd) Mohammad Enamul Bari, Chairman, Biman Bangladesh Airlines presiding over the 10th Annual General Meeting of the airline at “Balaka” in the city on December 19
: Biman Bangladesh Airlines Limited (Biman) has, despite various problems and reduced operation, earned Tk 151 crore as gross profit for fiscal 2016-17. This is the third consecutive year that the carrier recorded profit.
The national flag carrier is also all set to buy three 'Dash8-Q400NG' series aircraft each having 74 Economy Class seats for domestic and regional operation.
A news release of Biman said that after clearing default tax, the net profit stood at Tk 47 crore. It contributed Tk 381 crore to the national exchequer.
Biman recorded Tk 276 crore as profit for fiscal 2015-16 and Tk 324 crore for fiscal 2014-15.
In 2016-17, Biman flew 2.351 million passengers or 1.4 percent more than it did in the previous fiscal year.
The amount of cargo it ferried in the 2016-17 fiscal year, however, declined 18 per cent from previous year to 33,542 tonnes.
Biman's income in carrying cargo dropped due to the ban UK slapped on direct air cargo flights from Bangladesh last year.
According to the release, Biman provided ground-handling services to 26 foreign airlines for their 48,502 flights and 16,473 flights of its own at Shahjalal International Airport in the last fiscal year.
Biman is now running its operation with a fleet of 10 wide-bodied and two narrow-bodied aircraft to 15 international and seven domestic destinations.
The aircraft in the Biman fleet include four Boeing B777-300ER and two Boeing B737-800.
The leased planes by Biman include two Boeing B777-200ER, two Boeing B737-800, an Airbus A330, and for short trips, two Dash 8 Q400.
Biman said in the release that the six aircraft added to its fleet under a 2008 deal with Boeing on the purchase of 10 planes at US$ 2.1 billion contributed much to the profit-making.
Four modern Boeing B787-8 Dreamliners are expected to join Biman's fleet in the next two years.
The airline is now in the process of buying three Dash-8 aircraft- from Canada's Bombardier under a government-to-government arrangement- to add more flights on domestic and regional routes.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs recently approved a proposal of Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry to allow Biman Bangladesh Airlines to procure three aircraft from the Canadian firm.
Each aircraft will cost US$22.422 million with a credit facility of Export Development, Canada (EDC) under a government-to-government agreement.
Canada's government-owned company Export Development Canada will provide Biman with the necessary credit for purchasing the aircraft.
The airline is also planning to launch flights on Guangzhou route of China in March next year and to Colombo and Male the same year.