Biman acquired two Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 planes under dry lease for five years in April 2015 to resume its domestic flight operations after a three-year pause as the national flag carrier was forced to shut down all domestic flights due to scarcity of aircraft in 2012
Canadian Bombardier Inc has offered Bangladesh to sell two more Dash Q400 turboprops aircraft after delivering three brand new same modeled 74-seater narrow-body plane to state-owned Biman Bangladesh Airlines in 2020.
"Bombardier informed us that they would like to sell two more Q400 aircraft to Biman Bangladesh Airlines. If they (Bombardier) will give us good offer, we may consider their proposal (to purchase two more turboprops)," State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism M Mahbub Ali told BSS today.
Ali said the government would like to increase the Biman's short-haul fleet to grab a share of the growing domestic market, now dominated by local private airlines. "We have already set a meeting with Bombardier to discuss the matter farther," he added.
A delegation includes officials of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Canadian High Commission in Bangladesh will hold the meeting with the state minister and concern high officials of the ministry and Biman Bangladesh Airlines at secretariat on Thursday next in this regard.
Biman acquired two Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 planes under dry lease for five years in April 2015 to resume its domestic flight operations after a three-year pause as the national flag carrier was forced to shut down all domestic flights due to scarcity of aircraft in 2012.
Currently, the Biman Bangladesh airlines is operating flight to five domestic destinations with these two rented Dash 8 aircraft where two private carrier Novoair and US-Bangla airlines run flight to the country's all seven domestic destinations with much higher frequency.
"We need more short hurl aircraft to increase frequencies in our all seven domestics routes as well as different regional destinations like Kolkata and Yangon," Ali said.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry's official sources said the Bombardier Commercial Aircraft informed them that if the Bangladesh government wants, they would be able to deliver two more brand new Dash Q400 within 24 months.
On August 1 in 2018, the state owned Biman Bangladesh Airlines signed G2G (government-to-government) agreement with Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) to purchase three Dash Q400NG series aircraft from Bombardier as the lease period of the current two turboprop to be expired by mid 2020.
Bombardier is scheduled to deliver the three Dash single-aisle, single-class plane each to the Bangladesh government in March, May and June in 2020.
"As per the agreement, Bombardier will provide us substitute aircraft, if they fail to deliver their brand new Q400 plane as per schedule date," Ali said.
Based on the list price of the Q400 aircraft, the order is valued at approximately US$106 million, Bombardier said in a statement after signing the agreement.
On November 15, 2016, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a proposal of Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry allowing Biman Bangladesh Airlines to procure three aircraft from the Canadian firm.
As per the fleet expansion plan, Biman this month added two brand new Boeing 787-9 dream liners that raised its current aircraft number at 18 (12 owned and 6 rented).
In 2008, Biman Bangladesh Airlines signed a US$2.1 billion agreement with Boeing to purchase 10 new aircraft and as per the deal, Boeing has delivered all the aircraft- four 777-300ER, two 737-800 ER and four Dreamliners Boeing 787-8 – to Biman.