The economy-class seats of Palki, Biman's new Boeing 777-300ER that began commercial operation last month, are being replaced as their armrests started falling apart.
US company Weber had supplied the seats of the aircraft. It is now replacing the armrests in the economy class at its own cost during flight breaks at Shahjalal International Airport. The replacement will take a few more days.
Biman authorities said faulty design of the seats is causing the trouble. Sources said around 50 out of 384 seats in the economy class got broken. The seats in the business class are, however, in good shape.
Air Commodore (retd) Mohammad Zakiul Islam, managing director of Bangladesh Biman, told The Daily Star last week that the seats were procured following a meeting of Biman, Boeing and Weber.
Asked if the US company was selected arbitrarily to save money, he said, "There was no scope for buying the seats from a company which is not approved by Boeing."
Meanwhile, some more complaints have also surfaced regarding the remote controls of movie screens and the galley of the $ 152 million aircraft. The Biman MD, however, refuted the complaints.
The other new Boeing 777-300ER named Arun Alo commenced its commercial flight on Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur course on December 5, almost 10 days after it had arrived in Shah Jalal airport.
Biman had to suffer a huge loss due to this wait as it could not get the go-ahead from the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh. This is because Biman could not obtain the custom clearance certificate for its failure to pay the Tk 80 lakh duty.
Officials said the state-owned airlines needs to pay Tk 20 crore as instalment every month to repay the bank loan for Arun Alo.