Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG, Dhaka) has set up a technical committee to analyse in detail widebody offers from Airbus and Boeing, although it is widely believed the European manufacturer is in the driver’s seat.

First reported by The Dhaka Tribune, Biman established a 16-member committee that includes one official from the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry and a professor from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University (BSMRAAU) as external members, as well as the state-owned airline’s director of flight operations, chief financial officer, and director of engineering.

They will analyse a proposal to acquire ten A350s, including two A350Fs.

According to the report, Boeing, on September 6, 2023, offered Biman two General Electric-powered B787-10s with deliveries due in the first quarter of 2025. Given the airline's current all-Boeing widebody fleet, the US manufacturer said the carrier could save as much as USD146 million from crew wages, tooling, and spare engines. Not to be outdone, Airbus, on October 8, via a note verbale from the French Embassy, offered Biman two Rolls-Royce-powered A350-900s the first of which would deliver in the second half of 2026 and the second by the first half of 2027.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines secured funding to purchase ten Airbus aircraft in May 2023 after signing a joint communiqué with the United Kingdom, allowing it to access funds via the UK Export Finance scheme. However, Boeing then lobbied to keep itself in the race, pitching the potential purchase of various B787s and freighters.

The committee is still analysing the proposals, the newspaper said, with Biman’s managing director Shafiul Azim adding that no final decision has been made.

The airline plans to increase its fleet size to 45 aircraft by 2031 to boost revenue and increase connectivity. The ch-aviation fleets module shows that its fleet comprises 21 aircraft, including six B737-800s, four B777-300ERs, four B787-8s, two B787-9s, and five DHC-8-Q400s.

ch-aviation has contacted Biman Bangladesh Airlines for comment.