Biman Bangladesh Airlines is set to buy three 80-seater aircraft from Canada for $22.42 million each under a government-to-government arrangement.
The aircraft, which are fuel-efficient and cost-effective, will be used on seven domestic routes and three regional ones: Kolkata, Yangon and Kathmandu.
The Dash 8, which is built by Canada's lone aircraft manufacturing firm Bombardier Inc, is ideal for short-haul routes, said Shakil Meraj, general manager of Biman Bangladesh Airlines' public relations.
Asked about the recent incident in which a wheel fell off a Biman Dash 8 aircraft, he said: “Many airlines including the private carriers use Dash 8 aircraft. That accident could have happened to any Bombardier plane.”
Biman has taken the decision to purchase three Bombardier aircraft from Canada after considering all aspects, especially economic viability, he added.
The civil aviation and tourism ministry has already sent the proposal for buying the planes to the cabinet committee on economic affairs.
Canada's government-owned company Export Development Canada will provide Biman with the necessary credit for purchasing the aircraft.
Biman's fleet now comprises 13 aircraft: 10 Boeings, one Airbus and two Dash 8s.
One of the Boeings will be removed from the Biman fleet in the last week of January and another in March next year for re-delivery, according to the proposal.
Besides, the Airbus will be returned in February next year, two Dash-8s in April 2020, and two Boeings in 2022 once their lease term expires, according to the proposal.
Already, $1.68 lakh is spent every month on two hired Dash 8 aircraft.
The initiative to purchase new planes was taken in this context, the proposal added.