Biman flight operation becomes normal

October 31, 2010

Pilots offer apology for creating stalemate
Biman’s flight operation became normal on Saturday after the pilots on Friday called off their strike, putting an end to the sufferings of its passengers headed for international destinations.
The pilots called off their strike for an indefinite period on the prime minister’s assurance that their problems would be resolved, officials said.
‘Biman’s flight operation has become normal today. We have planned 13 flights, mostly headed to the Middle East, to carry the stranded passengers,’ the Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd managing director, Muhammad Zakiul Islam, told New Age on Saturday.
He said all the 362 passengers who got stranded because of the strike would fly today as there was no disruption in the flight schedule now.
Bangladesh Airline Pilots’ Association members at a briefing on Saturday offered apology to the people for the stalemate in flight operation in the past week for their work abstention programme in protest at the Biman management.
‘We, on behalf of all BAPA members, offer apology to the countrymen for the stalemate created in a few days. Nobody expects such a situation,’ the association’s general secretary Basit Mahtab said at the BAPA office after a meeting with the prime minister at Ganababhan.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, expressed her annoyance at the pilots’ strike in defiance of the management’s administrative order, which, she said at the meeting, caused sufferings to the travellers and Hajj pilgrims had suffered metal stress because of such uncertainty in Hajj time, an official who attended the meeting at the PM’s official residence said.
The pilots at the meeting with the prime minister said ‘sorry’ for causing such inconvenience.
The civil aviation minister, GM Quader, and the Biman board chairman, Jamal Uddin Ahmed, among others, attended the meeting.
The pilots since October 22 had stopped flying additional hours that are beyond the contract between the association and the national flag carrier but the ongoing Hajj flights were kept outside the purview of the strike.
The pilots went on strike for an indefinite period on Thursday morning after the authorities had suspended five of its pilots on Wednesday for rallying against a decision of the authorities on increasing pilot’s retirement age from 57 years to 62 years, leaving them conditionally out of insurance and rehabilitation benefits during the period.
The prime minister assured the pilots that their problems would be resolved through the civil aviation ministry and the Biman management, Basit said.
Asked whether the prime minister had ordered the Biman management to withdraw the suspension orders against five pilots, Mahtab said, ‘She has asked us to continue flight operations without any fear. We have full confidence in her assurance.’
The association’s acting president Zakir Hossain, general secretary Basit Mahtab, SM Helal, Farazi and Maksud were grounded for allegedly leading the protest.
Biman on Thursday night cancelled all of its international and domestic flights but the flights to ferry Hajj passengers scheduled for Friday and Saturday because of the strike.


Courtesy of NewAge

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