Biman Bangladesh Airlines will purchase two more Dash-8 aircraft from De Havilland of Canada aiming to expand its flights on domestic routes.
The national carrier finalised its decision on March 2.
Dash-8 is a small-haul aircraft that can carry 50 to 80 passengers.
The purchase deal has already been finalised with the manufacturer – one aircraft will be delivered next year and the other in 2022, said Biman's Managing Director Md Mokabbir Hossain.
Currently, Biman has two Dash-8 aircraft taken on lease. The airline will return one of them in June this year.
The public limited company has already purchased three new Dash-8 aircraft from Bombardier and they will join the fleet in June this year.
The inclusion of three new aircraft will take the total number of Dash-8 in the Biman fleet to four.
The number of Dash-8 aircraft will be six by 2022 after the arrival of two new aircraft that Biman is going to purchase from De Havilland.
Currently, Biman is operating long-haul aircraft on domestic routes due to shortage of short-haul planes, said Mokabbir Hossain. "As a result, the airline is incurring losses on domestic routes."
He said after the inclusion of the new Dash-8 aircraft, it will stop using Boeing 737 planes on domestic routes aiming to come out of losses.
Moreover, Biman plans to increase inter-connectivity on domestic routes to cater to a growing number of passengers.
Currently, Dhaka is the hub for flying to other districts of the country. Biman is planning to introduce flights from Jashore to Chattogram to Cox's Bazar. As a result, passengers will not need to travel via Dhaka.
Biman will also use Dash-8 aircraft on some international routes like Chattogram to Bangkok.
Biman's fleet has increased manifolds over the years, and the current fleet size is the largest in its history. It has 18 aircraft – 12 are of its own and the rest are on lease.
Another three Dash-8 aircraft will arrive by June this year, taking the total fleet size to 20.