National flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines has finally got approval to operate flights to Guangzhou of China.
Managing Director of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Mokabbir Hossain confirmed this to the FE. Biman has a plan to start operation from May this year.
Mokabbir said that Biman is planning to provide cargo services to any organisation if they need to charter any aircraft.
Talking to the FE, Mr Hossain said that Biman got the approval from Civil Aviation Administration of China in the end of March to operate Guangzhou flight. Biman will operate weekly one flight with Boeing 737-800. This will mainly carry cargo, he mentioned.
At the moment, US-Bangla and China Southern operate flights to Guangzhou.
Mokabbir said for providing charter cargo services to individual companies, Biman has already taken permission and taken necessary preparation.
"Worldwide cargo freighters are passing busy time. Many international carriers also are giving their passenger aircrafts for chartered cargo," he said.
Biman MD claimed that none of its 5,200 employees was infected during the COVID-19 pandemic as they followed the guidelines of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and WHO (World Health Organization). Biman has 150 cockpit crew and 500 cabin crew who are perfectly alright. But people made hue and cry over their continuing flight operations to London and Manchester.
When asked, aviation expert Kazi Wahidul Alam said that it will not be commercially viable for Biman to operate weekly one flight to Guangzhou. Besides, Chinese government now allows only Chinese nationals to China.
But cargo operation by Biman will be viable as the price for per kg cargo has risen significantly from US$ 2-2.5 to US$ 6-7, Mr Alam commented.
"When everything will start normalising like regular passenger flow, Biman can carry transit passengers of onward destinations like Sydney and Canada by code sharing with Chinese or other international airlines to be commercially viable. Given the present situation, passenger flight will not be viable for Biman," said Mr Alam.