‘Second wave of corona hits hard aviation sector’

Staff Correspondent

9 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Aviation experts at a seminar on Saturday said the second wave of Covid-19 has hit the aviation sector at a time when this sector was trying to turn around braving the loss caused by the first wave of the virus.

Mentioning that the second wave of coronavirus affected them like the last nail at the coffin, they demanded waiver on different aeronautical, non-aeronautical and other charges.

They made the comments at a webinar titled “Bangladesh aviation sector amid pandemic: challenges and way out”, organized by Aviation and Tourism Journalists’ Forum organized the webinar.

Novoair Managing Director Mofizur Rahman said second wave of Covid-19 hit the aviation sector at a time when they were trying to stand up repairing the severe damage caused by the first wave of Covid-19.

“Second wave of Covid-19 hit the aviation sector like it was last nail in the coffin,” he added.

Mofizur said different aeronautical, non-aeronautical and other charges imposed by the civil aviation authority of Bangladesh are much higher comparing to our neighboring countries.

He also said there are several other obstacles including delay in importing required spare parts of aircraft and customs related problems also responsible for the sorry state of the airlines. Novoair Managing Director Mofizur demanded that the CAAB as the regulatory body and the ministry concerned take necessary measures immediately to remove those obstacles responsible for not flourishing the aviation sector. 

Abdullah Al Mamun, managing director of US-Bangla Airlines, said although the flights on different international routes remained suspended for over one year, they are bound to pay huge amount of money to CAAB as different charges.

He said local airlines are in a very sorry state at present.

While explaining about this, he said US-Bangla Airlines, the leading private airlines of the country has lost 70 percent capacity in international routes and lost 54 percent capacity in domestic routes.

“Under this circumstance, it’s impossible for us to survive,” added Mamun.

Biman Managing Director and CEO Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal said Biman has lost 43 percent capacity causing huge loss of the national airlines.

“Recently we have purchased three brand new aircraft. Besides five state of the art technology equipped aircraft are also lying idle. But we have to pay money as loan and maintenance cost for every hour for those aircraft,” he also said.

State Minister for Civil Aviation M Mahbub Ali said the aviation sector is passing a very bad time at present due to Covid-19.

“But the government must stand beside the airlines and will do whatever necessary for them for their survival,” he also said.

Secretary, Civil Aviation Ministry, Md Mokammel Hossain said the government will give highest priority on how to give incentive so that the aviation industry can move forward again.