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Biman pilots to return to work

Authorities assure again for readjusting pay cuts

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 27 October, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Pilots of Biman Bangladesh Airlines have decided to return to flight operation after receiving assurance from managing director of the national flag carrier for raising their pay cut issue in the next board meeting.

The pilots met with the airline’s managing director on Tuesday afternoon.

“The pilots of Biman have worked hard for 18 months during the coronavirus pandemic and are still doing so though a huge part of their salary has been cut. The managing director of the airlines has heard the matter and reassured us,” said Mahbubur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Airlines Pilots’ Association (BAPA).

“A meeting of the board of directors of Biman will be held in a few days. The issue of pilots’ salaries will be raised at the meeting. We are optimistic about the assurance given by the authorities,” he added.

The pilots said that they are supposed to fly 75 hours and have eight days of holiday a month in line with a contract between Biman and BAPA.

Biman Managing Director and CEO Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal could not be reached for comment.

Earlier, angry pilots of Biman Bangladesh Airlines went on strike over their ongoing pay cut issue and avoided to operate flights of Biman. As a result, some of the flights of the airline did not depart on time on Monday.

As many as 157 pilots are on the payroll of Biman. They have been hit with a reduction in pay ranging from 25 percent to 50 percent of their salary since May 2020.

Air connectivity was yet to be fully restored even after a year into the coronavirus outbreak, but Biman brought a lot of changes to the payment of pilots in July.

It stated that pilots working as cockpit crew between zero and five years will enjoy no pay cuts.

Crew members, including pilots, working for over five years to 10 years will receive a 5 percent cut, while those working for more than 10 years will get 25 percent less salary.

The pilots, however, said they have already stopped receiving overseas allowances which was amounting to 20 percent of the total salaries.

So the pay cut of 25 percent will be turn into 45 percent in reality. It means those who will receive 5 percent pay cut will actually get 25 percent less.

Pilots had launched a similar protest earlier as well, as a result of which Biman incurred a loss of at least Tk 100 million in a week.

Later on July 14, BAPA decided to suspend the demonstration following a meeting.