PM asks Biman to enhance reputation
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked Bangladesh Biman to enhance its reputation through efficiency as she commissioned its newest state of art craft called “Dreamliner”, a long- haul jet plane manufactured by Boeing company.
“I want you to work with utmost sincerity so that the organisation (Biman) doesn’t earn any bad name and Bangladesh’s reputation remains upheld,” the premier on Wednesday told the commissioning ceremony of the craft, which she herself named “Akashbeena”, reports BSS.
Sheikh Hasina asked the Biman staff to particularly give proper attention so the foreign, local passengers and expatriates Bangladeshis could quickly complete their immigration formalities and get luggage.
“The process will have to be expedited by using modern technology so the passengers could quickly leave the airport,” she said. The prime minister herself chose the name for the 271-seat Boeing 787-8, a long- haul, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airline.
The Boeing company described the aircraft to have “unparalleled fuel efficiency and range flexibility” offering its passengers “an experience like none other in the air, with more comfort and less fatigue”.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal was present at the function as the special guest held at the VVIP Terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport here.
Chairman of Biman’s Board of Director Air Marshal (retd) Muhammad Enamul Bari and Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md Mohibul Haque also spoke at the function, while Biman Managing Director and CEO AM Mosaddique Ahmed delivered the welcome address.
Ministers, PM’s advisers, parliament members, the chiefs of three services, foreign diplomats and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister asked all concerned to give more importance to aviation and airport security issues.
She said few countries which previously slapped sanctions on Shahjalal International Airport on security grounds were withdrawn the ban with improved security system of the country’s maiden aviation facility.
The premier said after assuming office made massive development of country’s all airports including the premier Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport as improved connectivity is very important for any country.
She said during its previous tenure Awami League government turned Chattagram and Sylhet Airports as international ones while it set up boarding bridge in the Shahjalal Airport and developed the car parking zone in 1996.
But, she said, the condition of Biman aircraft appeared dilapidated and its services standard dropped drastically after the BNP-Jamaat alliance came to the power.
The premier recalled assuming office in 2009, her government found Biman on the verge of breaking down with rundown aircraft fleet, schedule failure and endless complains on routine basis. To tackle this disaster, she said, the government implemented a planned course of action and began work with a renewed enthusiasm.
The premier said she instructed the Biman Board of Directors to build Biman as a modern airlines as a result five aircrafts – Palki, Arun Alo, Akaashpradip, Rangaprobhat, Meghdoot and Mayurpankhi were added to its fleet.
“These large and most advanced aircrafts are a wonder of the sky which have enhanced Biman to the equals of internal standard airline,” she said. The premier said at the same time to increase the domestic connectivity, the government has made a purchase agreement to acquire another three Dash-8 Bombardier aircrafts with Canada.
“I’m hopeful, with the addition of new aircrafts to the fleet, Biman will keep on flying to new destinations and the Biman management is working towards that goal,” she said.Recalling the voyage of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the premier said it came into being holding the hands of Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “Bangabandhu, Bangladesh and Biman are stringed together,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the people of a free Bangladesh looked up into the sky and dreamt of an airline of their own and Bangabandhu made the dream into reality.“Biman took form within the first 19 days of our independence and the history of Biman and the freedom of our nation go hand in hand,” she said. Later, the Prime Minister cut a cake, boarded the aircraft and visited its different sections.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh achieved independence through the liberation war and “we want to live and move with honour and dignity that were lost after the assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975”.
The premier said her government was working to achieve the goal of building a hunger and poverty-free prosperous Bangladesh and by now “we have proved that development of the country is possible if work is done sincerely”.
Sheikh Hasina said democratic trend in the country is continuing and it is advancing towards development. “Bangladesh is now a role model of development in the world and we’ve taken the country forward further by upholding the recognition,” she said.
The prime minister said Bangladesh will celebrate the golden jubilee of its independence in 2021. “We’ve set a goal of celebrating the occasion in the light of seventh five-year plan and the 10-year perspective plan,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government set a target of establishing Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous nation by 2041. “Besides, we’re working on 100 years delta plan with a goal that how Bangladesh will be developed and prosperous in 2100,” she said.
“We conquered the hunger and reduced the poverty and it will come down further … every person will grow up based on modern education and knowledge,” she said.“We’ve taken plan in such a way so that Bangladesh’s advancement and progress continue,” she said, seeking cooperation of all in this regard,” she said.
Officials said Biman signed a $2.1 billion deal to buy four 787 Dreamliners and six other aircraft with US planemaker Boeing in 2008.
The first Dreamliner arrived on August 19, while another is expected to arrive in November this year and the two others in September next year, Biman spokesman Shakil Meraj said.
Biman officials said the airliner could fly 16 hours nonstop with an average speed of 650 miles per hour consuming 20 percent less fuel compared to other such crafts.
It will provide its passengers with WiFi facilities at an altitude of 43,000 feet, allowing passengers to browse internet or connect with their friends and family at any end of the world, they said.
“The Dreamliner will add to the passengers’ safe journey and drive Biman’s profits,” Biman’s Managing Director and CEO AM Mosaddique Ahmed said. He said the Dreamliner would fly to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur every day of the week, with flights to Singapore in the morning and Kuala Lumpur in the evening.
With the Dreamliner’s inclusion, the national flag carrier now has 15 aircraft in its fleet.