Biman Bangladesh Airlines has been revealed as a previously unnamed customer for 2 Boeing 787-9s.
The order, worth $585 million at list prices, will add to Biman's existing fleet of Boeing 787-8s. While not confirmed, Bangladeshi media reports that the planes will be delivered on the 19th and 21st of December, 2019.
Initially, the airline will use the aircraft on flights to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi (bringing more frequencies on the sectors) before hopefully launching services to Toronto via Manchester subject to approval. Additionally, Biman hopes to begin flights to Singapore and Bali.
Finally, it wants to serve New York directly.
Biman Bangladesh is a small but interesting carrier. The airline has a long-haul fleet of 4 777-300ERs, 4 Boeing 787-8s and soon, 2 Boeing 787-9s.
The airline is growing fast, and while Bangladesh isn't the first country you'd think to visit on your holiday (at least for most people), the global diaspora of Bangladeshi people is significant.
Why Riyadh and Abu Dhabi?
So Biman Bangladesh Airlines wants to inaugurate their Boeing 787-9 on medium-haul routes before they begin long-range services. The choice of Saudi Arabia as one of the first medium haul destinations is likely largely due to the Bangladeshi community there. In 2015, there was a Bangladeshi diaspora of about 1.2 million people in Saudi Arabia, making it one of, if not the foreign country with the biggest Bangladeshi population.
As for Abu Dhabi, the diaspora is similar in the UAE to that of Saudi Arabia, making them both attractive destinations for Biman Bangladesh.
Biman's future is exciting, and we will be watching closely, to see what will become of Bangladesh's respected flag carrier.