Biman incurs Tk 1 cr loss a month
Saturday, 29 March 2008

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Limited is incurring a loss of more than Tk once crore per month for an unfair deal with Pegasus in taking a DC-10 aircraft on ten-year lease in 1997.

A wide bodied DC-10 aircraft was taken on lease of US$ 1.5 lakh per month on condition that it would be returned in re-delivery condition, with overhauling of the engine, on expiry of the lease period in June 2007.

“Return of the aircraft in condition as it was delivered on lease 10 years ago is an impossible task. Such a deal is very rare,” a Biman official told UNB. As Biman was ready to return the aircraft on expiry of the lease period after overhauling, Pegasus offered to sell it at US$ 5.5 million.

After completing the lengthy official process Biman agreed to buy but Pegasus by then raised the price to US$ 7.5 million. The whole process has cost around Tk 10 crore to the national flag carrier which is limping.

In the absence of required number of aircraft to operate in different routes Biman can carry hardly around 33 percent of its passengers. The Biman official said on expiry of the lease agreement the aircraft was lying idle in the hanger. “We cannot operate it since June last year as the lease period ended but the rent is paid for every month.” “If we could continue flying the aircraft the loss could be minimized,” he added.

Asked if he thought the lease deal was unfair the official said, “I don’t know actually if there was any unfair transaction behind this type of lease agreement. But what I can say is the bad deal has so far cost us Tk 10 crore for nothing.”

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