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Big comeback for Biman after Covid crisis Operating profit jumps 295pc

09 January 2022

Kazi Zahidul Hasan :
Biman Bangladesh Airlines reported a big comeback in its annual profit even if its revenue declines due to flight suspensions sparked by the coronavirus.
The airline booked an operating profit of Tk 158 crore in the financial year (FY) 2020-21, official sources said.
The head turning figure comes off back of the airline's Tk 81 crore net losses incurred during the financial year 2019-20.     
Although Biman's profit jumped by 295 per cent in financial year (FY) 2020-21, its total revenue earnings dropped by 18 per cent to Tk 4,128 crore ove the previous financial year (2019-20) when its total revenue income stood at Tk 5,045.
The erosion of its revenue was mainly because of the suspension of flights due to the global pandemic, lack of passengers, and travel restrictions imposed by different countries, officials of Biman said.
"The airline's operating profit for the financial year has increased 295 per cent against the last year mainly because of the austerity measures, lower fuel costs and reducing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry in the second quarter (October-December) of the financial year," Dr Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal, Managing Director (MD)  of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, told The New Nation yesterday.
He added, "Biman showed strong performance during the third quarter of the financial year, driven by robust non-scheduled passenger and cargo flights and UN mission flights with higher yield. However, the performance declined abruptly during the fourth quarter (April-June) of the financial year due to the second wave of the pandemic."
Mostafa Kamal mentioned that Biman witnessed a significant decline in passengers in both domestic and international flights during the last quarter (April-June) of the FY 2020-21.   
Biman, the national flag carrier airline of Bangladesh, operated a total of 86-non-schuduled charter flights, including 34 UN mission flights and earned Tk 182 crore from those flights in the FY 2020-21.
Besides, it carried 9 lakh passengers in the financial year, which is down by 52 per cent over the previous year. Subsequently, its passengers' revenue dropped by 32 per cent to Tk 2,419 crore during the period under review.
Biman carried 20 lakh passengers and earned Tk 3,561 crore revenue in the FY 2019-20.
During the FY 2020-21, Biman spent Tk 3,377 crore operating expenses, down by 30 per cent from a year ago when its expenses reached Tk 4,792 crore, according to its financial statement 2020-21.
The financial statement was disclosed at Biman's 14th annual general meeting (AGM) held on December 12 at its headquarters in the capital.
Responding to a question, Mostafa Kamal said, "The lower fuel cost and cost cutting measures have mainly contributed to decrease Biman's operational expenses last financial year. We saw our fuel bill drop by 57 per cent over the previous year."
During the financial year 2020-21, Biman's jet fuel cost stood at Tk 525.80 crore, while it was Tk1,224.90 crore in the previous year.
When asked, the Biman MD said that the outlook of global aviation industry "is difficult to predict" when the whole world rattles with a new Covid-19 wave caused by Omicron variant. Biman has already passed a challenging year. It may face further challenge if countries impose travel restrictions amid the ongoing global pandemic situation.
In the wake of global Covid-19 pandemic, Biman contributed to the country and its' people by operating rescue, repatriation flights to take many Bangladeshi nationals on their way back home from China, Lebanon, Italy and Britain.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines was commenced its operation in 1972. Historically, Biman suffered losses 28 times and made profit 21 times throughout its 49 years of services in domestic and international market. The airline's cumulative loss stood at Tk 941 crore at the end of the last financial year.   
At present Biman's fleet consists 21 aircraft, which includes 4 Boeing B 777-300ER, 4 B787-8, 2 B787-9, 6 B737 and 5 Dash8-Q400NG aircraft. With these aircraft Biman flies to 16 foreign destinations and 07 domestic stations.   

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