Dhaka, Aug 22 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday directed the authorities concerned to improve the standard of passenger services of Biman Bangladesh Airlines so that it can brighten the country’s image abroad.
“We hope you’ll uphold and enhance Biman's reputation by improving the standard of its services for passengers,” she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a ceremony marking the induction of 'Gaangchil' to Biman fleet. This is the third Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner the national flag carrier has got.
The Prime Minister commissioned 'Gaangchil' by cutting a ribbon around 11:30am at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. She also boarded and inspected the state-of-the-art aircraft.
Describing Biman as a symbol of the country's independence, Sheikh Hasina said people across the globe can know about Bangladesh and respect the country through Biman as its aircraft fly various countries of the world.
The Prime Minister asked all involved with Biman to operate its flights sincerely being imbued with the spirit of patriotism.
Talking about the newly-inducted aircraft, including three Dreamliners -- Akash Beena, Hangsabalaka and Gaangchil-- she said it is the responsibility of all to take good care of the new aircraft her government procured for Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
“You’ll have to work (take care of) keeping in mind that these (aircraft) are the assets of the country,” she said.
Noting that her government gives special attention to modernising the Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Hasina described various steps taken for the development of Biman.
She said Bangladesh used to borrow money from foreign sources for Biman, but the government now has decided to procure aircraft taking loan from local banks. “Thus we're making our efforts and moving forward step by step.”
Mentioning that the government will procure more aircraft to enhance Biman’s capacity, the Prime Minister said the government has already decided to procure two cargo planes to give a boost to export and import.
Referring to the newly-procured Dreamliner, Hasina said, the capacity of the national flag carrier in operating flights to long routes has enhanced and her government wants to operate flights on Dhaka-New York route by these aircraft.
“Now we can’t operate flights to the USA, but we hope we’ll able to solve the problem soon. Our Dreamliners have the capacity to fly directly to JFK airport (in New Yor),” she said.
Hasina said her government is making efforts to increase the frequencies of Biman’s flights on London route further. It is also trying to introduce flights on new routes to connect more countries with a view to improving the services for the passengers, she added.
Elaborating her government’s initiatives for the development of the country’s airports, Awami League government made international airports in Chattogram and Sylhet assuming power in 1996.
Hasina said now the government is constructing a big international airport in Cox’s Bazar considering its location on international air routes and its tourism attractions.
On completion of its works, the Prime Minister said, the aircraft of international routes can refuel at the Cox's Bazar International Airport. And Cox’s Bazar will be able to attract larger number of foreign tourists as the world’s largest sandy sea beach is there.
About the development activities of her government, she said the government has relentlessly been working to ensure a decent life for the grassroots.
“If the country is developed, becomes self-dependent economically, and the progress of the country continues, the people at all levels will have an improved life and they we‘ll be happy. We've been working with this goal in mind,” she said
“We have been able to develop every institute in the last 10 years,” the Prime Minister added.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md Mohibul Haque, Chairman of the Board of Director of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Air Marshal (retd) Muhammad Enamul Bari, among others, spoke at the event.
Biman Managing Director and CEO Farhat Hassan Jamil delivered the welcome speech at the ceremony.