PURCHASE OF 2 BOEING AIRCRAFT
Biman gets sovereign guarantee to take $338m loanSadia Afrin
The government has granted with eight conditions the sovereign guarantee to Biman Bangladesh Airlines to take a $338.49-million credit from the Export-Import Bank of the US for purchasing two new Boeing aircraft.
The finance ministry has recently gave the approval to take the loan for purchase of two 777-300ER aircraft from US aircraft manufacturer the Boeing Company with conditions that Biman would have to continue its search for a strategic partner and send a quarterly development report on this matter to the ministry.
Besides, under another condition, Biman has to give corporate guarantee and set up an individual fund for getting the sovereign guarantee.
Biman managing director Kevin Steele told New Age that the government had given with eight conditions sovereign guarantee to Biman for purchase of two Boeing-777-300ER aircraft.
‘We do not want to make any further delay for any reason to get the two aircraft’, he added.
Steele said that two 777-300ER aircraft would be added to the Biman’s fleet in February or March in 2014.
Biman officials said Biman signed a contract with the Boeing to procure two Boeing-777-300ER aircraft at a cost of $590 million through economic system of syndication.
Biman already paid the Boeing around 20 per cent or $118 million of the total cost of the two aircraft in November 2012. Bangladesh Bank paid the money from its reserve through Sonali Bank UK branch.
Biman public relation division general manager Khan Musharraf Hussein told New Age that the civil aviation and tourism ministry had recently got the letter of sovereign guarantee given by the government to Biman. Later, the civil aviation ministry handed over the letter to Biman.
Earlier, Biman signed a contract with the Boeing to purchase eight aircraft at a cost of Tk 8,728 crore in 2008. Of them, four aircraft were of Boeing-777-300ER and the rest four were of Boeing-787-8 models.
Later, Biman ordered for another two Boeing-737-800 aircraft. Biman took syndicate loan at 4.57 per cent interest from nine local banks at that time. Biman signed initial contract with the Boeing on March 15, 2011. On April 22 of the same year, Biman finalised the contract with the Boeing to procure 10 aircraft.
In accordance with the contract, the first two Boeing-777-300ER aircraft had been added to the Biman’s fleet in October and November in 2011.
According to delivery order, the rest two Boeing-777-300ER aircraft were scheduled to be added to the fleet in November this year. But it is not possible before 2014 as Biman failed to pay the dues of $118 million to the Boeing authorities.
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