PM patches up Biman imbroglio, asks management to solve pilots’ problems

Ref: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the government authorities running the national airlines to meet the ‘reasonable’ demands of Biman pilots to patch up the problems that led to a staggering strike.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd.

The premier issued the directive as she assured the pilots in movement of conceding their logical demands in a meeting with them and Biman authorities at Ganabhavan Saturday, after a crisis-resolution negotiation on Friday night.

She spelt out the solution and instantly gave the directive to the civil aviation minister and the chairman of the government-run aviation company—Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also called upon the pilots to pay their full attention to discharging duties and said the country incurred huge losses due to their strike in the past several days.

A prime minister`s office spokesman quoted her as saying, “The image of the country was tarnished abroad following the strike, which is not desirable in the future”.

Earlier on Friday night, the striking Biman pilots called off their wildcat strike on assurance from the Prime Minister of looking into their grievances after an emergency meeting at Ganabhaban.

Captain Ishtiaq Hossain, member of Bangladesh Airlines Pilots Association (BAPA), told banglanews, “The Prime Minister gave us a patient hearing as well as assurance of fulfilling demands. It is our big success.”

After the meeting, Civil Aviation Minister GM Quader and Chairman of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd Jamal Uddin Ahmed were reluctant to talk to reporters.

Biman faced a flight disaster as pilots stopped flying planes after the authorities fired their five leaders for the strike, official sources said.

After the suspension of five leaders of the association on Tuesday night, the pilots went on a wildcat strike. They had only agreed to fly planes on hajj flights.

The Biman authorities earlier issued an ultimatum for the striking pilots to join their duties within 48 hours or face “stringent action”.

The pilots launched the protest last week against Biman`s decision to increase the retirement age of the aviators from 57 to 62 years without insurance and rehabilitation benefits for the extended period.

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