Dhaka – Biman Bangladesh Airlines has decided to take a wide-bodied aircraft on wet lease for carrying pilgrims to Saudi Arabia smoothly during the Hajj period, UNB news agency reported.
According to the document, the aircraft must have 400 seats in two classes and the age of the aircraft must not exceed 20 years. The national flag carrier will take the aircraft on ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) lease, which is also called wet lease, and it must fly 750 block hours.
The tender document stated that the tentative first flight in the pre-Hajj phase will start on August 5 whereas the last flight will be September 7.
The tentative first flight in post-Hajj phase will start on September 16 while the last flight of the post phase will be October 17.
The offered aircraft must be capable of operating directly between Dhaka and Jeddah without any Payload Penalty and/or Technical Landing at an intermediate point considering each passenger and baggage weight as 120 kg, according to the tender document seen by UNB.
It also said that major checks/maintenance of the offered aircraft must not fall due during the lease period.
In case of AOG (Aircraft On Ground) / Technically Grounded situation, the Lessor, that is the party from which Biman is leasing the aircraft, shall undertake all necessary measures to make the aircraft operational at the earliest.
If the grounding of the aircraft continues for 36 hours or more, the Lessor will be responsible to provide a substitute aircraft of similar seat configuration at Lessor’s cost until the leased aircraft is brought back to operation.
In case the Lessor fails to provide substitute aircraft within 36 hours, then the Lessee, that is Biman, reserves the right to ask for compensation.
The Lessee will not make any payment of rental for hours lost for grounding of the aircraft leading to cancellation of flights. Hours lost for grounding of the aircraft shall be deducted from the minimum guaranteed hours.
The excess hours over the minimum guaranteed hours will be calculated after deduction of lost hours from the guaranteed hour, the tender paper said.
The last date for submitting proposal has been fixed on March 15.
A senior Biman official involved in Corporate Planning told UNB on condition of anonymity that the national flag carrier wants to operate the Hajj flight in a smooth manner and for that it decided to take the aircraft on lease.
“We can operate the Hajj flights by our own aircrafts, but for that we have to suspend some of our existing routes during the Hajj period,” he said, responding to a question on why Biman is taking lease where it has a good number of wide-bodied aircrafts of its own.
Currently Biman has four Boeing 777-300 ERs, two Boeing 777-200 ERs, two Airbus A310-300s, four Boeing 737-800s and two Dash-8 in its fleet.