Biman Bangladesh Airlines has been spending Tk 40 lakh each month for six additional pilots who have no planes to fly in the emaciating fleet of the national flag carrier, a web-based news agency, yesterday.
The pilots, appointed on contract, receive around US$ 57,000 a month – US$ 9500 each.
A board meeting of the Biman company has recently capped the age limit for pilots at 62, which was earlier 57. However, those six pilots were working for Biman on contractual basis though their age was over 57, sources said.
At present, 116 pilots are working for the aviation company, which failed to tap lots of potential and lost much of its business due mainly to reported mismanagement over the years. As per the contract with Biman, each pilot will have to fly 70 hours a month.
The number of pilots is also adequate to operate four DC-10 and three airbus planes.
Competent sources said the authorities do not allow them to fly for over 50 hours a month. No question has been raised over the contractual pilots within the company.
Jakiul Islam, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Biman, told the news agency that the decision on extension of retirement age has been taken for shortage of pilots.
“If anyone is fit after 57 years, he or she can continue the job till 62 years of age,” he said, adding: “If necessary, we will recruit more pilots for the carrier.”
As per the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)-recognized age limit, Biman’s pilot association has been demanding the age cap should be 65.
According to Biman rules, those who will be unfit in medical test during their service will get one-crore taka in compensation.
A pilot of Biman said that after 55 most of the people in Bangladesh usually get ill with various diseases.
The latest decision will increase Biman’s expenditure for compensation.