Biman Bangladesh to buy 10 Airbus jets, breaking Boeing reliance – minister
By Ruma Paul and Tim Hepher
DHAKA/PARIS (Reuters) – State-owned carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines has decided to purchase 10 planes from Airbus, in a shift from its Boeing-dominated fleet, the South Asian country’s junior minister for civil aviation told Reuters on Monday.
“As per our requirement, the decision has been taken to purchase 10 aircraft in phases. The technical committee is assessing now,” Mahbub Ali said.
Ali’s comments came after sources said the airline was close to a deal to buy 10 Airbus A350 widebody planes, marking its first order with the French planemaker.
It was not clear whether the deal would be finalised in time for the Paris Airshow, which opens on Monday.
Airbus declined to comment. Biman did not respond to a request for comment.
“Every country has both Airbus and Boeing in their fleet. We didn’t have an Airbus in our fleet,” Ali said, as the airline looks to break its reliance on the U.S. planemaker that typically dominates widebody orders.
The 51-year-old airline has a fleet of more than 20 mostly Boeing planes, over half of which are widebodies, and some Dash-8 turboprops.
Biman Bangladesh’s demand for more widebody aircraft comes as travel is seeing a strong post-pandemic rebound. The carrier flies non-stop to 20 destinations worldwide including Britain, Malaysia, Thailand and Canada.
(Reporting by Ruma Paul in Dhaka and Tim Hepher in Paris; Writing by Aditi Shah; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Jamie Freed)