National flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines received its first Boeing 787-8, known as the Dreamliner, at Hazrat Shahjalah International Airport in Dhaka on Sunday evening.
After landing in Dhaka, it was received with the blowing of water cannons as it flew in from Seattle’s Boeing Factory, after making an uninterrupted fifteen hour flight.
The new aircraft, the fifteenth in Biman’s fleet, was received by Biman’s chairman Air Marshal (retd) Muhammad Enamul Bari, along with its CEO and members of its board of directors.
Bari told reporters that prime minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the first flight of the Dreamliner on September 1, slated to fly to Kuala Lumpur.
She is also credited with coming up with the Dreamliner’s name, Akash Beena.
The aircraft will initially be used to operate flights from Dhaka to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in its first month, after which it will be considered for flights to New York and Canada.
It will provide its passengers with wifi services at a height of 43,000 feet, allowing passengers to browse the internet or connect with their friends and family at any end of the world.
The chairman also added that the Dreamliner’s economy class fare for its Singapore flight has been set to $200 (excluding taxes and other surcharges) and its Kuala Lumpur flight at $290.
The 271-seat Boeing 787-8 has been designed to be 20 per cent fuel efficient than the other aircrafts.
In 2008, Biman Bangladesh Airlines had signed a $2.1 billion agreement with Boeing to purchase 10 new aircrafts, of which Sunday’s Dreamliner was the seventh.
The remaining three are slated to join Biman’s fleet by November this year and two more by next year’s September respectively.
When asked about a tentative promotion for Dhaka Airport from a category-2 airport to a category-1 airport, chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh Air Vice Marshal M Naim Hassan told reporters that an audit team from New York is scheduled to visit Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in January, 2019.
He is hopeful the promotion will be ensured by next year.
According to Biman’s general manager (public relations) Shakil Meraj, the Dreamliner will fly to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur every day of the week, with flights to Singapore in the morning and Kuala Lumpur later in the evening.
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