Biman chief targets breakeven by 2014

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Biman Bangladesh Airlines chief executive officer Kevin Steele believes there is a chance that the carrier might return to profit earlier than expected.

The State-owned carrier lost about $75 million for the financial year ending 30 June 2012 and unaudited results for the 2012-13 period showed a $25 million loss, according to Steele.

Steele, who was appointed as Biman's managing director and chief executive in March, expects a $10 million loss for this fiscal year.

“Whilst we expect a smaller loss ($10m) for 2013-14, we are ambitiously going for breakeven,” he says in a statement.

“There is therefore a small chance, and I stress only a small chance, that Biman will do better than its promise to the Honorable Prime Minister, to be profitable by 2014-15,” he adds.

The carrier started its Hajj season operations on 7 September and leased one high-density 582-seat Boeing 747-400 and one 767-300ER aircraft, says Steele.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows that the 767-300ER aircraft is leased from MIAT-Mongolian Airlines.

“The lease of the additional 767 aircraft will also enable us to operate some extra pre and post Hajj flights domestically and regionally. We will also continue to have our standby aircraft throughout, in the event of any disruption,” he says.

The Hajj operations will also be performed with two owned 777-300ERs, supplemented if necessary by an occasional Boeing DC10 aircraft.

Biman operates a fleet of nine aircraft, including one Boeing DC-10s, two 737-800s, two 777-300ERs, one 767-300ER and two Airbus A310-300s, according to Ascend.