Bangladesh airline asks staff to give up 10% of pay

Bangladesh's cash-strapped national carrier Biman said Wednesday it had asked its staff to give up 10 percent of their wages for the next six months as it struggles to pay for new airliners.

"It's a voluntary proposal. We are not going to impose anything, but they are quite receptive," managing director Zakiul Islam told AFP.

"We are facing increasing challenges due to the purchase of two Boeing aircraft and hike in fuel cost in recent months."

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Biman has been facing cash-flow problems after two new aircraft alone cost $309 million, according to Islam. Biman borrowed $277 million from JP Morgan in August to pay for them.

Biman has a workforce of about 4,500, including 150 pilots and 360 cabin crew. Islam said payment and training related to new aircraft had damaged its cashflow.

In the year to June, Biman incurred a loss of 1.99 billion taka ($28.42 million), the highest since it was made a public limited company as part of a restructuring by the government.

by Claire Cozens © 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Jan 11, 2012