FRENCH president Emmanuel Macron said on Monday (11) that Bangladesh had committed to ordering 10 aircraft from Airbus, marking the south Asian country’s first deal with the European planemaker in a shift from its Boeing dominated fleet.
French officials said the deal for the A350 widebody airplanes, which is still being finalised, is with the national flagship carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd.
“I thank you for your trust in the European aerospace industry. And this commitment for 10 Airbus A350 is important,” Macron said in a statement to the media after a meeting Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
The 51-year-old Biman Bangladesh has a fleet of more than 20 mostly Boeing planes, more than half of which are widebodies, and some Dash-8 turboprops.
Mahbub Ali, Bangladesh’s junior minister for civil aviation, said that the initial order would be for two Airbus planes.
“We have asked for 10 aircraft in phases. The technical committee is now evaluating. These aircraft will be used on new and old routes. Each country has Airbus and Boeing in its fleet. But we only have Boeing, not a single Airbus,” Ali said.
Biman Bangladesh’s demand for more widebody aircraft comes as travel is seeing a strong post-pandemic rebound. The carrier flies nonstop to 20 destinations worldwide including Britain, Malaysia, Thailand and Canada.