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Monday, March 30, 2015

Saturday, September 1, 2007
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Ex-Biman men form body to float private airline

Initiative of retired employees of Biman Bangladesh Airlines to float a new private airline got a formal shape in the formation of a 25-member organising committee headed by former managing director of Biman Abdul Muyeed Chowdhury recently.

Three other former managing directors of Biman Bangladesh Airlines are also on the 25-member committee while a seven-member sub-committee headed by former president of Bangladesh Airline Pilots' Association (BAPA) Captain Nasimul Haque has also been formed.

The proposed name of the new airlines is 'Air Bangla International', said a member of the committee.

Meanwhile, during the tenure of Abdul Muyeed Chowdhury as managing director, Biman, a losing concern, had got the taste of profit and success after a long time.

The Biman officials and employees who retired under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme in June this year took the initiative to float a private airline.

The retired Biman officials, according to their service tenure and position, got Tk 15-30 lakh on an average, Biman sources said.

"The retired Biman staffs' initiative to form a new airliner has got a formal shape," Muyeed Chowdhury told The Daily Star on Tuesday.

"There is good opportunity in Bangladesh to run private airlines," he said, adding," Here [retired Biman staff's initiative for a new airline] the opportunity is greater, as everyone is experienced."

The former MD of Biman however said, "A few more months' time is needed to get a clear picture about the new airline."

"Most of the retired 1,877 staffs have given verbal consent to joining the initiative to run a new airline," a member of the organising committee said.

"The seven-member sub-committee has started its groundwork," said Zahirul Haque, member secretary of the 25-member organising committee and also a member of the sub-committee.

The committee already sent leaflets and forms to all the retired employees seeking their consent in writing, sources said.

“After receiving consent letters from the retired staffs, we will get the idea about how much money we can collect from them for the new airline," Captain Nasimul Haque earlier told The Daily Star.

About the primary plan of the new airline, several members of the organising committee told The Daily Star that they would operate on those routes that were profitable but left suspended by Biman.

"The routes to Narita, New York, Frankfurt and Paris are some of the profitable ones that Biman Bangladesh Airlines kept suspended and we have a plan to operate for those destinations," said Captain Nasimul.

"We will surely make profit. Experience is our capital, we want to prove that it is possible to make profit if an airline is run professionally," he said.

Three private airlines -- GMG, United and Bismillah -- are currently operating from Bangladesh.

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