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GMG to cut international flight to capture hajj trade

GMG Airlines, one of the leading private airlines in the country, has decided to cut the number of flights on the international route to capture business ahead of hajj season.

The GMG is going to take the initiative to gain further profit from hajj pilgrims, GMG sources said.

Head of marketing and communications of GMG Asif Ahmed told banglanews that hajj is their first priority. “For the sake of smooth operations of hajj flight we can take any decision,” he said.

He also said another private airline in Bangladesh tried to detain hajj business, but they failed to capture the trade despite repeated attempt.

An insider of the GMG airlines told banglanews that most of the time GMG couldn’t maintain flight schedule. If any aircraft got stuck at any destination due to technical glitch, passengers fell into untold sufferings.

The GMG is failing to manage its flight schedules due to proper maintenance. “It’s a frequent phenomenon for the airlines,” the official added.

If they could operate hajj flight smoothly, airlines would profit huge money, he added.

An aviation expert and former member of the board of directors of the state-run Biman Bangladesh airlines, Kazi Wahidul Alam told banglanews that there is no compulsion from civil aviation authority of Bangladesh.

He added: “But it’s matter of ethics. Any established airlines should not take these types of initiative. It is done in Bangladesh for quick bucks.”

Currently, the airlines operate only four flights due to shortage of aircraft.

GMG has decided to operate a total of 53 flights to carry pilgrims from Dhaka to Jeddah for alleviating hassles of the hajj-performers.

The pre-hajj flights will be operated between September 29 and October 28, while the post-hajj flights will run between November 11 and December 9.

A total of 108,000 hajj pilgrims are scheduled to perform hajj from Bangladesh this year. Of them GMG will carry 14 thousand pilgrims. To gain more profit GMG will decrease number of flight in different international flights.

“All plans are on drawing table till now. Whatever we decide, it would be for the sake of general passengers.”

There are six aircraft in GMG’s fleet: three Boeing 767s for international route and the rest (three) MD-83s, three Dash-8) aircraft for regional and domestic purposes.

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