27/01/2014: Biman’s New York-ticket sale from Feb

Biman's New York-Ticket sale from feb
Staff correspondent,
Published: 2014-01-27

“We are planning to start sale of tickets for our New York flights sometimes during first half of February,” Kevin Steele, Managing Director of the flag carrier said at a press briefing on Monday.

Biman stopped flying to New York after Bangladesh was banned by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of US in 1996.

A country must have a Category-1 rating from the FAA if it intends to conducts flights to the US.

Security is usually their top priority.

On Aug 17 last year, Bangladesh signed an open sky agreement with the United States to resume flights to New York.

“Twice-weekly flights from Dhaka-Birmingham-New York are scheduled to start from June 4," Steele said.

Biman was waiting for the finalisation of a lease agreement with Egypt Air and also for the approvals of the government and its own Board of Directors, he added.

Biman is planning to take lease of two Boeing 777-200 aircraft from Egypt Air to start the New York flights, he said.

"The lease will be taken for five years, and subject to Biman's board approval this evening we hope to sign the lease agreement in the next few days, with one aircraft arriving in February, and another in March.”

Director of Flight Safety and Regulations Department at Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB), SM Nazmul Anam told "There will be no objections to start the flights if Biman gets the aircraft on wet lease.
“But it won't be possible if it is done on dry lease."

"Bangladesh will be able to begin the flights by leasing the aircraft from Egypt as the country is rated Category-1."

He, however, also mentioned that Biman had taken initiative to get the planes on wet lease.

More Biman flights

Besides resuming operations to New York, the state-run carrier has announced flights for new destinations.

“We will start flying to a number of new destinations this summer,” said Steele, Biman’s first foreign MD, at the press briefing.

"Flight to Frankfurt will restart in April with twice-weekly flights via Rome, and tickets should be on sale in a few days."

Flights to China's Guangzhou, Kunming and India's Guwahati will begin later in the summer, he added.

He also said Biman will add its own two Boeing-777 planes to its fleet in February and March.

But he added that it will take more time to resume the flights on the closed domestic routes.