Biman to connect NY, Toronto in 3-4 months
Dhaka signs deal with Washington, Ottawa: ministerStaff Correspondent
Dhaka signed a fresh air service agreement with Washington early this week to resume Biman Bangladesh Airlines’ flights to and from New York that had remained suspended since July 2006.
A six-member team led by civil aviation and tourism secretary Khurshed Alam Chowdhury initialed the air service agreement with USA four days back, civil aviation minister Muhammad Faruk Khan told reporters at the secretariat on Wednesday.
He said another such deal was singed with Canada on Wednesday to establish an air link with the country and promote aviation business between the two countries.
The minister said the government was hopeful to resume Dhaka–New York–Dhaka flights within four months provided that the Federal Aviation Authority of the USA certified Biman to operate flights on the route.
He said Dhaka-New York flights of Biman could not be resumed in last four years and a half although it was a political commitment of the ruling Awami League as FAA had rated Dhaka as Category II.
‘We have to improve our security standard to get the certificate of FAA which has ranked us as category II. An audit team from FAA would visit Dhaka in February to see the improvements we have made in the sector,’ the minister said replying to a question.
The national flag-carrier Biman would also launch flights on the Dhaka-Toronto route in next three-four months, he added.
Due to perennial financial losses and serious shortage of aircraft, Bangladesh authorities closed down flights on the Dhaka–New York route.
According to an estimate of the state-run airlines, each of the Dhaka–New York flights by DC10 had caused a financial loss of Tk 55 lakh to Biman.
About the fresh air service deal with the USA, the minister said Bangladesh earlier had a temporary agreement and this time it will be a permanent one.
He said a delegation from Myanmar would arrive in Dhaka on August 28 to sign an agreement with Bangladesh on establishing the air link between the two countries.
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