Saturday, March 17, 2018

Direct cargo flights to UK resume Wednesday

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Biman Bangladesh Airlines will restart direct cargo flights to the United Kingdom from Wednesday, after two years of ban.

The direct cargo-flight operation will resume with a flight of the national flag carrier, BG-001, leaving Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for London at 10:45am, according to a Biman press release issued on Tuesday.

The operation is going to resume three weeks after the withdrawal of the ban that had been in place for two years.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines received 'Air Cargo or Mail Carrieroperating into the Union from a Third Country Airport (ACC3)' certificate, a prerequisite to begin the direct flights to the UK.

Last month, the UK withdrew the ban on direct air cargo from Dhaka after two years.

Earlier on March 8, 2016, the British government slapped the ban on direct cargo flights from Dhaka to London after Biman failed to pass the safety and security tests.

As per the recommendations of the UK government, the Bangladesh government took some immediate measures such as recruiting UK-based aviation security agency for two years, developing Export Cargo Complex with three layers of security system, introducing European standard training for cargo handling, establishing two explosive detection systems (EDS), introducing Explosive Detection Dog (EDD) Cargo Scanning system and so on.

Later, from November 13-16, 2017, an independent auditor was in Bangladesh to review Biman Bangladesh Airlines' eligibility for the certificate and came up with the approval on February 24, 2018.

Biman's cargo business shrank 22.54 percent in the last fiscal year on the back of the ban on direct freight flight from Dhaka to London, according to available data.

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