Bangladesh national airline scraps flights to Japan | india | Hindustan Times
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Bangladesh national airline scraps flights to Japan

india Updated: Nov 03, 2006 13:12 IST

Cash-strapped national carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines has suspended its flights to Tokyo to reduce massive losses, the latest destination to which it has cut services, an official said on Friday.

"Biman has suspended its flights to Narita from this week as we are losing a huge amount of money on this route," Biman's spokesman Khan Mosharraf Hossain said.

"We may restart the flights in future, provided we have a better financial position and we have enough aircraft to fly the long-haul routes," he said.

The struggling airline has so far suspended flights to New York, Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt and Mumbai as part of its cost-cutting measures.

It said it was losing money in all six destinations.

Biman racked up a record loss of more than 120 million dollars in the financial year ended June 30, 2006 due to higher fuel and maintenance costs. In the previous year it lost 41 million dollars.

Officials said the company was also set to incur huge losses in the current financial year because of increasing jet fuel prices and a jump in the cost of fleet maintenance.

Biman currently travels to 20 international destinations with five DC-10 aircraft that are at least 20 years old, four Airbus 310s bought in the early 1990s and four Fokker F-28 aircraft.

The company also launched a move to find a "strategic partner" in an effort to return to profitability but so far no regional airlines have come forward.

Under any deal, a strategic partner would manage Biman and supply aircraft in exchange for access to the national flag carrier's guaranteed destinations.