Biman cost several lakh taka as one of its flights had to return to Dhaka failing to get landing clearance in earthquake- ravaged Kathmandu yesterday. Biman Bangladesh Airlines officials said the flight, Boeing 737, was sent to the Nepalese capital at 1:30pm without communicating with the Tribhuvan International Airport authorities.
The airport is allowing only the flights with relief and other emergency items to land there following Saturday’s devastating earthquake that killed at least 2,300 people. Failing to get the landing clearance, the Biman flight, which had 83 passengers on board, returned to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka around 4:00pm, officials said.
“It was really an unwise move from our part for which we’ve earned quite a bad reputation. We should have inquired [about the landing] before sending the flight to Kathmandu,” said a top Biman official, wishing not to be named. He said Biman might have incurred a loss of Tk 50 lakh in the incident due to burning of fuel and other expenditures.
However, Biman MD Kyle Heywood last night said that the authorities closed the Nepalese airport because of a fresh tremor felt there around 10 minutes before the landing. Biman sent another scheduled flight, Aircraft A 310, to Kathmandu with 105 passengers on board at 5:30pm. The authorities at the airport in Nepal allowed the flight to land there around 8:00pm as it was carrying some relief materials, said officials.