The national flag carrier Biman’s dream to have the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in its fleet is now just a step away from reality.
Once the Biman Bangladesh Airlines successfully wrap up the deals to get financing partners on board by early next year, its 13-strong fleet will be richer by two American long-haul Dreamliner – 767-8 by November 2018.
And two more of these latest Boeing airplanes are also in the purchase pipeline, scheduled to be delivered to Biman by last quarter of 2019.
In a bid to ensure that Biman gets the deliveries on time, the airlines on November 29 floated ‘Request for Proposal’ (RFP) seeking loan for financing of the delivery payments for the two Dreamliners.
Biman invited the RFP from reputed banks or financial institutions with experience of arranging and funding aircraft loans for financing of two 787-8 aircraft, popularly known as Dreamliner, scheduled to be delivered in August 2018 and November 2018.
Biman sought the proposals from prospective parties by January 28, 2018. It splits the loan arrangements into two categories – Senior Loan and Junior Loan.
The financing shall be in US dollars for a minimum 144 months term with quarterly payments of principal and interest for up to USD 250 million. The aggregate amount of financing will be 80 percent of USD 250.00 million. This loan will be called as Senior Loan.
It also said there can be an offer of 20 percent (USD 50 million) of the total amount and it will be termed as Junior Loan. The tenure of this kind of loan will be sixty months minimum.
As per the purchase agreement with Boeing, pre-delivery payment (PDP) of approximately USD 136.28 million has already been paid to Boeing for two 787-8 aircraft supported by Sovereign Guarantee.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines signed a purchase agreement with Boeing on April 22, 2008 for purchase of new generation four 777-300ER and four 787-8 aircraft. Another agreement was also signed with Boeing on May 30, 2008 for purchase of two 737-800 aircraft.
Biman already took deliveries of four 777-300ER in 2011 and 2014 and two 737-800 in November/December 2015.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size, wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Its variants seat 242 to 335 passengers in typical 3-class seating configurations.
It is Boeing's most fuel-efficient airliner pressed into commercial flight service in late 2011 and the world's first major airliner to use composite materials as the primary material in the construction of its airframe.
The 787 has been designed to be 20 percent fuel efficient than the 767 it is to replace.
The 787 Dreamliner's distinguishing features include mostly electrical flight systems, a four-panel windshield, noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles, and a smoother nose contour.
It shares a common type rating with the larger Boeing 777, allowing qualified pilots to operate both models, due to related design features.
Established in February 1972, Biman is currently operating flights to seven domestic and 15 international destinations. Out of the international destinations, Biman operates to two destinations in the SAARC region, four destinations in the South East Asia, eight destinations in the Gulf and Middle-East and one destination in Europe.
It’s 13-craft fleet includes - four 777-300ER, two 777-200ER, one A330-200, four 737-800 and two Dash8-Q400 aircraft.