Biman Bangladesh welcomes two 787-9, by Travel Radar Correspondent Ankur Deo
Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the flag bearer for Bangladesh, recently has been showcasing some quite ambitious intentions to expand. The airline has taken delivery of two additional Boeing 787 Dreamliners with a list price of $585m. These two aircraft shall be the 787-9 type, while Biman already has four 787-8, the last one of which was handed over to the airline in September this year.
As per reports, as the China based Hainan Airlines cancelled it’s order for 30 Boeing 787s, Boeing approached Biman Bangladesh Airlines and the latter agreed to buy two 787-9. These aircraft named ‘Sonar Tori (the Golden Boat)’ and ‘Achin Pakhi (the Unknown Bird)’ have joined the Biman fleet on December 21 and December 24, 2019, respectively and shall be equipped with the GEnx-1B engines. These two aircraft are registered as S2-AJX and S2-AJY respectively. The first Dreamliner that Biman took delivery of, the smaller 787-8 named, ‘Akash Bina’ was introduced in the Biman fleet just more than a year ago, on September 5, 2018.
‘One of our key priorities is to have a modern fleet with technologically-advanced airplanes that will enable us to expand our international reach’ said Air Marshal Muhammad Enamul Bari, Chairman and member of Board of Directors, Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
Biman Bangladesh Boeing Dreamliner 787-9, registered S2-AJX at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka
With the 787-9’s extended range over the 787-8, it is perfectly positioned to help the airline achieve its plans for international route expansion, given that the Indian sub-continent is a lucrative hub for travellers from East Asia to travel to Europe. The Biman 787-9 shall carry 298 passengers in a standard three-class configuration, providing range up to 7,530 nautical miles (13,950 km). One of the newer 787-9 shall be utilised to serve the Dhaka-Dammam route, thereby, replacing the older Boeing 777-300ER on this route, while the other 787-9 shall serve the Dhaka-London Heathrow-Sylhet route, which is currently operated by the smaller 787-8 aircraft. Just last month, Biman started new route from Dhaka to Medina, Saudi Arabia, on its Boeing 787-8, which highlights the significance of Dreamliners in Biman’s fleet as a ‘market-opener’.
Biman Bangladesh is known for its spread out fleet, consisting of six Boeing 737-800, four Boeing 777-300ER, two Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 with three more of the kind on order, four Boeing 787-8 and now the newly added Bowing 787-9.
While the airline faces a stiff competition from other airlines in the region, Biman has made its intentions of modernising the fleet clear, thereby, ameliorating its product in the recent while. Not bad for an airline which once relied on fuel thirsty McDonnell Douglas DC-10s and Fokker 28-4000s just half a decade ago to operate six state-of-the-art Dreamliners, huh?!