Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG, Dhaka) is planning to acquire three Dash 8-400s from Bombardier (BBA, Montréal Trudeau) following positive performance reviews of the two Q400s it has leased from Egypt's Smart Aviation (SME, Cairo Int'l).

According to the New Daily Nation, Biman had also considered the ATR72 from Avions de Transport Régional (Toulouse Blagnac) before settling on the Canadian-manufactured turboprop. Airline sources said that given that Biman is a state-owned enterprise (SOE), the new purchase would be completed on a government-to-government basis.

"As Biman acquired two Dash 8 Q400 aircraft on lease basis for five years, the national flag carrier will have to add more aircraft to continue domestic and regional routes after the expiry of the agreement," Shakil Meraj, Biman's General Manager, said.

The original dry-lease contract with the Egyptians started in December 2014 and was to run for a five-year term. The two aircraft - S2-AGQ (cn 4367) and S2-AGR (cn 4368) - are currently deployed on flights from Dhaka to Barisal, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Jessore, Kolkata Int'l, Rajshahi, Saidpur, and Sylhet locally and Yangon internationally.