Biman to seek more slots to Saudi Arabia


19th August, 2016 12:38:39 printer

Biman to seek more slots to Saudi Arabia

The government is going to seek more slots (landing permission in any destination) to Saudi Arabia to solve the seat capacity of the national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines.


An inter-ministerial meeting, chaired by civil aviation and tourism minister Rashed Khan Menon, took the decision at secretariat Thursday.


The national flag carrier Biman already lost around 5,000 seat capacities as the hajj agencies didn't buy air-ticket or booked seats in time.


Menon told the journalists Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) would prepare a list of the agencies comprising their number of hajjis, moallem and rented house with address, and submit it to the ministry of religious affairs.


The ministry would send the list to Biman and Saudia to sell air ticket among the agencies according to the list.


The civil aviation ministry held the inter-ministerial meeting to address the recent problem of cancellation of hajj flights of Biman following hajji scarcity.


Expressing its concern Biman management Wednesday in a statement asked all the hajj agencies to confirm their air-tickets within 72 hours of the journey.


But, the hajj agencies didn't act according to Biman's call till Thursday.


Meeting sources said Mosaddique Ahmed informed the meeting a total 10 hajj flights have been cancelled by Biman which is very much alarming for the airliner as the slots are limited.


A marketing official of Biman said national flag carrier will carry around 51,000 hajj pilgrims while 50,758 would carry Saudia airlines.


"We will have to utilize all the slots for smooth hajj operation so that no one faces any difficulty to leave Dhaka for Jedda," said an official of Biman.


Biman Bangladesh Airlines will operate a total 278 flights to carry hajj pilgrims. Of them 144 flights would be pre-hajj operation and 134 flights for post hajj operation.


National flag carrier has already leased a Boeing 747 Jambo jet capacity of over 500 from Malaysia airlines.


The civil aviation minister already requested the hajj pilgrims not to carry any Zamzam water (holy water). Concerned airlines will distribute Zamzam water among pilgrims after their arrival at Hazrat Shahjalal airport.


The minister also said each haji is allowed to carry maximum 46kg luggage. No one would be allowed more luggages which is fixed by Biman Bangladesh Airlines.