Biman eyes on cargo to make Frankfurt flight profitable

11 April 2014

BSS, Dhaka :
Biman Bangladesh Airlines put emphasis on getting full house cargo for it's newly resumed Dhaka-Frankfurt flight as it is trying hard to get full cabin passengers for its new route to Germany.
"We are happy to get full house cargo for the Frankfurt flight and the new route can be profitable with carrying cargo," Biman's Deputy General Manager of Cargo Iftekhar Hossain Chowdhury told BSS Thursday.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines resumed its Dhaka-Frankfurt flight on March 31 after a suspension of eight years, creating the 19th overseas destination of the national flag carrier.
Biman is operating two flights a week-Fridays and Mondays -- to the new destination via Rome with the brand new Boeing 777-300 ER with 419 seats.
Iftekhar said the Boeing 777-300 ER has eight pallets and eight containers with capacity of carrying cargo of 24 tonnes, if it carries 100 less passengers and 18 to 20 tonnes with full passengers.
"So far, we have three flights to Frankfurt after the resumption and we got on average of 22 tonnes of cargo from Dhaka to Frankfurt and received 6 to 7 tonnes from Frankfurt," he said.
He said as it is now the only direct Dhaka-Frankfurt flight, exporters are knocking Biman's doors to send their product in a shortest possible time. "Now importers can save from 72 to 24 hours by sending cargo through Biman compared to other foreign carriers like, Etihad, Qatar and Emirates," he said.
Hanif Chowdhury, proprietor of H T cargo service, a local cargo handler said in a real scene Biman's new direct route to Frankfurt gives exporters new opportunities as Germany is the main gateway of Europe in sending cargo. "It usually takes 2-3 days to send cargo through foreign we are able to send cargo within one day by Biman," he said.
Biman officials said full house cargo contributes more than 70 percent to make a route profitable.
Talking to BSS in Frankfurt last week, Manfred Schleiffer, sales manager of Air Logistics, Biman's cargo handling agent in Germany, said they are targeting eight to ten tonnes of cargo per flight from Frankfurt.
Hans Sneider, a German importer, was otherwise happy to see the direct air connectivity between his country and Bangladesh as he has long been in search of a direct link with Dhaka to import finished garment products for the German consumers.
Vice President of Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industries Farooq Siddiqui said Biman can make its German route profitable by carrying cargo as Germany is the second largest country of importing Bangladesh's RMG products. "As it is the only direct flight to Germany, it will also make an opportunity to export Bangladeshi agro-based product to one of the major European economy," he said.
Jamal Uddin Ahmed, chairman of the Biman board, said due to shortage in the number of wide-bodied aircraft, Biman had to stop its regular flight to Frankfurt in 2006. As Biman has got a new aircraft now, the present government resumed the flight taking into cognizance the importance of such connectivity with this highly important European city from business point of view, he said.
He hopes that Biman's direct connectivity with Germany would open a new window of opportunities for trade, tourism and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

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