Pilots Hurting National Interest: Biman
Friday, 22 October 2010

The Biman Bangladesh Airlines authorities have termed its pilots' statements regarding the national flag carrier 'against the national interest'.

A Biman press release issued around 6pm on Thursday said the management thinks the pilots had 'unwarrantedly meddled' in the issues and tried to 'instigate' other officials of the state-owned airlines.

On Wednesday, Bangladesh Airline Pilots' Association gave a 24-hr ultimatum that ended 5 pm on Thursday to meet their five-point demands.

If their demands are not met by then, BAPA declared not to carry out any duty outside their contract with Biman.

"When all the officials of the Biman are working hard to perform their duty, especially in transporting 45,000 Hajj pilgrims, such activities of its pilots have stunned everyone," the press release added.

"Creating a stalemate by 'illegally' and 'unwarrantedly' issuing an ultimatum at a press conference is against the interest of the whole nation."

Recently a Biman order has increased the retirement age of its pilots from 57 years to 62 years. BAPA general secretary M A Basit Mahtab, at the conference, had termed that order 'illegal'.

Following the order, the pilots had filed a writ petition with the high Court. The court accepted the petition and stayed the order.

Later the Biman authorities appealed challenging the petition, which will be heard on Oct 24.

The press release also said, "As the issue is currently in the court, such activities conducted by them (pilots) are sub-judiced as well."

Mahtab had said on Wednesday the pilots will not work more than 70 hours per week, according to their contracts, from Friday morning.

Biman managing director Zakiul Islam told bdnews24.com: "I don't want to comment on it as the issue is at present under the court's consideration."

BAPA's other demands include – cancellation of wet lease (leasing an aircraft with complete crew, maintenance, and insurance) and launching of dry lease (leasing only aircraft), preventing the authority's blue-print of increments of Biman officials in the name of combining personal dues, reappointment of two Biman officials who have been removed recently and arranging their fair trial, and buying necessary equipments and increasing manpower for standard ground handling.

Source: bdnews24.com

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