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Sunday, August 30, 2009
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UN staff asked to skip Biman

Its services deemed too risky for flyers; new Biman boss unaware of such development

The United Nations has asked its staff not to fly Biman Bangladesh Airlines for lack of safety and security arrangements and flight delays, landing another blow to the reputation of the national flag carrier.

The UN Division for Security Services issued a directive two years ago deeming Biman too risky for its staff. Any UN employee wishing to fly Biman would have to do so at their own risk, said several UN officials in Dhaka and New York.

The decision was based on Biman's past records of safety, regularity, delays or cancellation of flights, service quality, condition of aircraft and business goodwill, according to a high-level UN official.

It also prevents an UN staff from claiming life or accidental insurance coverage if he or she flies Biman.

"I am going to Dhaka from Nepal by Biman Bangladesh Airlines at my own risk. If something bad happens on the way, neither I nor my family will be able to claim any compensation," a New York-based UN official told The Daily Star, wishing anonymity.

The official said his UN agency has instructed its staff not to fly Biman.

Biman's newly appointed Managing Director Air Commodore (retd) Zakiul Islam said he was unaware of the UN directive but he admitted that Biman is facing problems in managing flight schedule.

Zakiul however said the situation would improve once three Boeing aircraft are added to Biman's existing fleet.

The UN directive follows a host of complaints against Biman's poor flight management from other institutions.

On November 2, 2007 several international airports including London's Heathrow Airport strongly criticised Biman for its repeated failure to maintain flight schedules and threatened to cancel its slots.

Several airports also threatened Biman with fines if it continued to miss slots, which occurs if the airline makes delay in arrival and departure, sources said.

Heathrow Airport agreed to allow slots for Biman on the condition that it maintains at least 80 percent of its flight schedule.

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When will the policymakers of this country wake up to take some rapid effective actions? Instead of making Biman a white elephant, the authority needs to turn things round and make it a profitable one. the way things are moving, i wonder whether we will have an national flight company for international routes in future.

: Samina Hussain

United Nations and its other affiliated agencies of the UN maintain some safety and security policies for its staff while they travel by using air route. To maintain and review the security aspects of the passengers,ensuring safety and security , the UN body classified the various operating airlines under three of four categories measuring the basic status and standard of the airlines,including, condition of aircraft, services, operational policies, flight schedules, in-flight services, ground services, aircraft maintenance ,insurance policies and above all, safety and security arrangements in and outside the flights and ground operations , probably there may be other criteria,

Biman has been operating with very old age aircrafts, and providing poor services and has been failed to demonstrate the basic standard of air services including maintaining air schedules and inefficient handling and services.

I think, government has already identified deficiencies of the Biman, the national carrier including mismanagement , corruptions and passengers handling.

This is obviously not good for Bangladesh, therefore, the ministry of civil aviation and the government must come forward to resolve all those issues soon to face the competitions of the world aviation services at least maintaining certain standards to regain UN confidence.

: Nasarullah

Comments

  • dr islam
    Sunday, August 30, 2009 06:31 AM GMT+06:00 (309 weeks ago)

    Our National flag carrier finally brought our pride to our knees.

  • Rezwan Rashid
    Sunday, August 30, 2009 12:43 AM GMT+06:00 (309 weeks ago)

    Sorry to ask, but shouldn't any person with at least some sanity avoid Biman at any cost? The world runs on its own schedule and not on Biman's!

  • Ron
    Sunday, August 30, 2009 05:03 AM GMT+06:00 (309 weeks ago)

    The condition of Biman today is a direct result of the incompetence and corruption of it's staff. There are many smaller airlines in the world which operate much more efficiently than Biman. Only because of the dedication of their staff.

  • Zaidul Khan
    Sunday, August 30, 2009 05:26 AM GMT+06:00 (309 weeks ago)

    What more do you expect? The planes are more than 30 years old. Most of us that are fliers would not risk our lives flying in Biman. Why is it such a big issue when foreighners do it? If the airline cant afford to maintain schedules or procure aircrafts, the necessity of having a national flag carrier seems to be a luxury which Bangladesh neither has the capability nor the means to operate. I think it was an excellent decision. Maybe now the bureaucrats who run this county would open their eyes and see the light!!!!!!!!

  • I. Hossain
    Sunday, August 30, 2009 07:43 AM GMT+06:00 (309 weeks ago)

    I am a well-to-do New Yorker. I am a Bengalee, living in New York for the last fifty years. Five years ago I had to fly from New York to Dhaka in Biman. I will never fly in Biman again.

    Biman lacks professionalism.

    Biman started its engine with Quran reciital in Arabic and video of Mecca, Medina, Kaba and Haj!! I wondered, why they were promoting Saudi Arabia and not Bangladesh?.

    In the competitive world aviation market, Biman is a joke.


 

 


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