Biman Bangladesh Airlines, country’s national flag carrier, had forced cancel its 46 domestic flights in last four days due mainly stiff price competition with private airlines.
Private airlines have been offering much lower ticket price since air flight operation resume from June 01, 2020 after the flight operation suspended for coronavirus pandemic.
“The national flag carrier was forced to cancel all of its 46 flights between June 1 and June 4 due to lack of passengers and due to high prices of tickets,” a Biman high officials told Business Mirror.
The maiden flight of Biman on Dhaka-Saidpur route took off on June 1 with only four passengers on board, while the return flight had 20 passengers.
Regular flights operation resumed on a limited scale on three domestic routes on June 1, after more than two months of suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Biman was charging Tk 3,000 to Tk 3,200 or more as the starting price for tickets, while the two private airlines in the country — US-Bangla and Novoair — charged Tk 1,999 to Tk 2,500 for tickets along the same route.
That is why people are moving to the two private operators for air travel, said the sources.
Meanwhile, Biman is exploring many ways including turning its passenger flights into freight and offering its flights as chartered to individual passengers to survive in the competition.
The steps taken following frequent cancellation of scheduled flights for low passenger turnout.
“Biman Bangladesh Airlines is now offering chartered flights to domestic destinations for family trips, at a cost of Tk 3 lakh to Tk 5 lakh depending on the distance,” a high official of Biman told Business Mirror.
A special chartered flight is a flight operated by an airliner on special-demand basis for a certain destination.
As per the plan anyone will be able charter Biman’s aircraft for five hours for a short trip from Dhaka to any of the seven airports in Bangladesh. Biman officials find operating domestic flights at the moment economically not viable.