Biman Bangladesh, the country of Bangladesh’s national flag carrier, is being investigated for allegedly breaking local and international laws governing pilot recruiting. The government has been ordered to look into the accusations made against the carrier by the high court of the nation. Within a month, the authorities are required to produce a formal report of their findings.
The probe into Biman’s pilot recruitment practices
The bench of Justice JBM Hasan and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil passed the order on Wednesday to investigate the carrier’s practices of pilot recruitment. The three-member committee was formed as a result of the legal notice received on March 27 to probe the allegations. The committee comprises the secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, a senior official of Biman, and a senior official of the Civil Aviation Authority.
The probe against the flag carrier came to fruition after the Bangladesh Airlines Pilots Association (BAPA) alleged that the authorities of the national flag carrier had grossly violated international and its own rules in recruiting pilots. The violation of regulatory practices are affecting the daily operations of the airline. BAPA demanded an investigation into the recruitment to ensure smooth operations.
BAPA has an agreement with Biman that includes the process of the appointment of pilots. According to BAPA, the agreement between the two parties was breached at the time of the pilots’ recruitment. BAPA’s executive committee had also submitted a letter to the Managing Director and CEO of Biman demanding an investigation into the matter. The letter stated,
We have pointed out at different times that the way contractual pilots are being recruited is beyond regulation. The responsibility of the recruitment was given to the Chief of Training, whose own wife was a candidate and which was surely a conflict of interest.
The letter was also copied to the Director of Aviation Administration and Flight Operations Department and emphasized the effects of recruitment biases on the pilot association and carrier’s operations. The letter further stated,
The recruitment could have been done within the legal and ethical framework, which would have best suited the airline and its pilots. But the way recruitment was done, it has seriously tarnished the image of the national flag carrier and the pilot community.
BAPA believes that Biman’s own practices are causing significant financial loss to the airline. Violating its pilot recruitment policies has forced pilots to undertake mandatory training elsewhere, resulting in high expenses.
BAPA stated in the letter to the airline,
Due to extreme negligence of Biman, the crews of Boeing 787 flight had to go abroad to retake two trainings named ZFTT and PPC, resulting in huge financial loss to Biman.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh has issued warning letters in the past about irregularities in the carrier’s practices. The current probe is aimed at finding if Biman’s practices, particularly pilot recruitment processes, have improved. It is a matter of time until the committee reports its findings to the court.