POST TIME: 17 September, 2018 08:21:23 AM
Biman offers phone, internet services in new aircraft
Tareque Moretaza

Biman offers phone, internet services in new aircraft

Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the national flag carrier, has for the first time started providing in-flight phone and internet services in its recently added aircraft, Dreamliner Akashbeena.

Akashbeena, in its first commercial flight from Dhaka to Kuala Lumpur, introduced the in-flight service, said Biman Bangladesh general manager Shakil Meraj.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines received its first Boeing 787-8 on August 19.

Every passenger can use 10 megabytes of free data for 15 minutes with WiFi. After that, if any passenger wants to use the Internet, they will have to pay for the servicve. Passengers will have to pay USD 8 for 100 MB, USD 16 for 300 MB and USD 600 for 600 MB of data, Meraj told The Independent.

"The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner will provide its passengers with WiFi services at a height of 43,000 feet, allowing them to browse the internet or connect with their friends and family at any end of the world,” he said.

“If any passenger has roaming facility in the mobile phone, he/she can call others during the flight. That’s why a contract has been done with 25 satellites. All passengers will be able to watch the details of the place over which the plane will fly in a 3D map. A brief introduction of the place will also be seen,” he added.

With Dreamliner Akashbeena, the Biman’s fleet has increased to 15 aircraft. The Dreamliner will initially operate flights on the Dhaka-Singapore and Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur routes.

There are 271 seats in Akashbeena. Of these, 24 are in thebusiness class and 247 in the economy class.

 Boeing 787-8 has been designed to be 20 per cent more fuel efficient than other aircraft.

In 2008, Biman Bangladesh Airlines had signed a USD 2.1 billion agreement with Boeing to purchase 10 new planes, among which Sunday’s Dreamliner was the seventh.

Earlier, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) approved these facilities for Biman at a commission meeting in June. It, however, imposed five conditions in this respect and expected the service to be launched from September this year.

These conditions are: Biman will have to provide the services only after getting at a height of 6,000 metres or more from the land; the service charge will be adjusted through billing with local mobile operators; no terrestrial network should be interfered with; the service must be closed during take-off and landing; and Biman Bangladesh Airlines will have to pay the BTRC USD 2,000 per year for such services inside Bangladesh territory.