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Monday, March 10, 2008
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Biman leases Boeing-747 from Nigeria

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd has taken out a lease on a Boeing 747-200 from a Nigeria based airlines in a bid to minimise the disruptions in flight schedules.

"The 542-seater aircraft from Kabo Air Ltd will arrive at Zia International Airport by tomorrow or the day after tomorrow," a Biman high official told The Daily Star.

The national flag carrier has been facing serious troubles in maintaining flight schedules due to acute shortage of aircraft for quite some time now. With the new airbus, the number of Biman's aircraft will rise to 12.

Under the Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) lease process, the Kabo Air will provide all staffs and crew of the wide-body aircraft while Biman will supply fuel.

The leased aircraft will serve Biman for at least six months and its lease might be extended after that, following a negotiation between the two sides.

"Under the lease condition, Biman will have to pay $5,300 to Kabo Air Ltd for per block hour (every flying hour from take-off to landing)," a Biman official said.

"We have sought overfly permission from Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen and India as the leased aircraft will have to use the skies of those countries to land at ZIA," the Biman official said adding that rest of the formalities is already completed.

Set up in February 1980, Kabo Air Ltd started operations in April 1981, shows its profile.

Biman currently owns three types of aircraft -- four DC10-30s, four F28s, and three A310-300s.

Of those, only four or five can fly every day, while the rest are grounded due to technical glitches.

Earlier on July 2007, Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd purchased an Airbus A-310 from US-based Crane International at $12.4 million.

The 220-seater, now considered to be the backbone of the Biman fleet, was earlier leased to Biman on October 22, 2003 for four years.

Biman had to pay Crane International $0.25 million a month for the aircraft at that time.

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