French President Emmanuel Macron has confirmed that Biman Bangladesh is ordering 10 Airbus A350 aircraft after a meeting with the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“I thank you for the choice of confidence for European aeronautics and the commitment to these ten Airbus A350s is an important point,” Macron told journalists after his meeting with Hasina, according to Reuters. The publication said that the order is still being finalized.
Macron met with Hasina shortly after the G20 meeting on September 10, 2023, according to the French Presidency website.
Rumors of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the flag carrier of Bangladesh, ordering Airbus A350 aircraft have been brewing since May 2023.
When Hasina visited the United Kingdom (UK) in May 2023, the Bangladesh High Commission announced that the country could now “get long-term credit facilities from UK Export Finance scheme on easy terms for the purchase of aircraft from Airbus”.
Reports at the time pinned the order size at 10, with eight passenger and two cargo aircraft, but did not indicate the exact type.
A month later, the Bangladeshi State Minister of the Ministry of Civil Aviation Mahbub Ali told Reuters that the country wanted to order a total of 10 Airbus A350 aircraft, which it aims to purchase “in phases”.
“Every country has both Airbus and Boeing in their fleet. We didn’t have an Airbus in our fleet,” Ali added in June 2023.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines operates a jet fleet consisting only of Boeing aircraft, namely six Boeing 737-800, four 777-300ER, four 787-8, and two 787-9s. Its regional fleet includes five De Havilland Canada DHC Dash 8 Q400 turboprops, according to ch-aviation.com data.
Previously, the Bangladeshi airline operated six Airbus A310s, the last of which, according to ch-aviation.com data, was retired in September 2016.
“We’re always in discussions with existing and prospective customers to understand their commercial aircraft fleet requirements and support needs. These discussions are confidential,” an Airbus spokesperson said in an email to AeroTime.
UPDATE September 12, 2023, 99:45 pm (UTC +3): The article was updated with a statement from Airbus.