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Biman suffers Tk 3.05bn loss as it leases two Egypt Air planes

Biman Bangladesh Airlines has suffered a Tk 3.05 billion loss because of two Boeing 777-200ER airplanes brought in on lease from Egypt Air, a parliamentary watchdog’s investigation has found.
The planes’ leasing procedure and repair of engines have been steeped in ‘gross negligence and irregularities’, according to the probe conducted by the parliamentary standing committee on civil aviation and tourism ministry.

The ministry has also shown an ‘extreme lack of concern’, according to the probe report.

It said the losses stemmed from engine breakdown, renting of more engines and repairs of the damaged ones since the planes were leased in March and May 2014.

Biman’s funds and reputation have been damaged by the lease of the planes, the parliamentary committee’s chief Faruk Khan told bdnews24.com after a meeting on Thursday.

“We wondered why the Biman Board of Directors decided to lease these planes. The committee was unhappy with the fact that the damaged engines were sent for repair. All these are proof of extreme neglect and irregularities.”

The former civil aviation minister said they have also asked the ministry to form a committee to dig deeper into these issues. “They will identify those responsible for this loss and submit their findings in August.”
Seven of the 13 airplanes operated by the national flag carrier are on lease.

The losses due to the two planes from Egypt Air were also reported in newspapers.

The committee’s report said one of the planes was grounded for a long time due to engine troubles.

Biman rented two more engines from Egypt Air in the past few years as they kept breaking down. The last breakdown was in December 2016.

Later, the damaged engines were sent to a company in the US for repair. But as no delivery date was set for the fixed engines, Biman is still paying rents to Egypt Air and repair fees to the US firm.

The parliamentary committee formed its four-member investigation panel last month after the matter was brought to light through news reports.

The probe team’s report also mentioned that all the conditions for the two planes’ lease were in favour of Egypt Air, leading Biman to the huge loss of Tk 3.05 billion.

It has recommended sending both Boeings back, saying the renting of these planes and officials’ failure in determining their capability were against Biman’s interest.

The watchdog on civil aviation ministry said the national carrier made a profit Tk 2.75 billion, but the amount of loss has tarnished that success.

It also said the ministry should have supervised the leasing process, instead of showing ‘extreme indifference’ to the matter.

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