Hello everyone and welcome to another FR :). This time I'm going to share something slightly different with you.
This report will cover a very short domestic hop from Chittagong to Dhaka onboard S2-AFP, a Boeing 777-300ER operated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
We had to visit Chittagong during our trip to Bangladesh as our cousin would have an after-party here after her wedding. We went there by train but decided to travel by plane on the way back. There were several options like Regent Airways, United Airways and US-Bangla but I wanted to try out my father's national carrier, Biman Bangladesh Airlines! I guess most of us know that Biman is pretty known for its horrible delays, the airline doesn't have a good reputation. However, it's getting a bit better as time goes on. This particular flight (BG24) operates from Muscat to Dhaka, with a brief stop at Chittagong. We had no expectations at all, I was pretty certain the flight would be delayed. My father has flown with them previously, but more than 30 years ago. He flew DAC-CCU and told me that it was one of his worst flights ever.
NOTE: This report might lack a lot of pictures and might be very short! I had no idea flight-report.com existed at this time.
We arrived at the airport a few hours before our scheduled time of departure. The road from the main city to the airport is horrible, you would never believe you were driving towards an airport until you were about one minute away from the airport.
The airport was quite small. There were two check-in areas, one for domestic flights and one for international flights. There are not many flights operated by foreign carriers at Chittagong, Air Arabia to Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah, Flydubai to Dubai and Oman Air to Muscat. Rotana Jet is supposed to fly from Abu Dhabi to Chittagong but I'm not sure if the flights are operational or not. Malindo Air used to fly to Chittagong when this flight took place, they have now axed their flights from KUL to CGP. I don't even think many people in the city know an airport exists here, the connections from the airport to the city are absolutely horrible.
As you can see there's a security check after you enter the terminal.
I was curious about our flight so I asked my friend to look for all Biman planes flying at the moment, thanks for the information!. He later sent me pictures from Flightradar24. Our ride from MCT had an estimated delay of 55 minutes. I notified my dad about the inofficial update of the situation but he still asked one of the Biman agents at the airport just to be sure. The Biman agents at the airport said that the flight would be on-time, but I knew that was BS. I was still very surprised, I had expected a delay of at least 3 or 4 hours.
The airport is very small and there isn't much to do. They did have Wi-Fi though which enabled me to use my phone for entertainment while waiting for the check-in desks to open.
Domestic departures sign.
Eventually the domestic Biman check-in desks opened and we were checked in and went through security in no-time. We then waited for a while before boarding was announced.
At last I saw our plane arriving from Muscat, with a delay of approximately 50 minutes. Boarding was expected 50 minutes after it arrived. The seat allocated for me was 11B at first but managed to switch seats with my sister, she didn't really care about the window. I appreciate her cooperation :).
Boarding began 50 minutes later as expected. I apologize for the horrible picture but it's the only one I managed to take before boarding the aircraft. This particular bird, S2-AFP is a Boeing 777-300ER which was delivered to Biman in November 2011. This is one of four 77Ws in Biman's fleet. All their 77Ws seat 419 passengers, 35 in business and 384 in economy. Biman opted for a 9-abreast layout in economy.
This flight arrived from Muscat and would continue to Dhaka after a short stop in Chittagong. Surprisingly a good amount of the passengers from MCT were continuing to DAC even though the majority of the Bengalis in Muscat originate from Chittagong. The market from MCT to DAC seems to have grown, Oman Air resumed flights to DAC last year with 4 weekly A330 flights at first but the flights are currently operating at a frequency of 6 times a week.
The IFE screen, not operational on this short sector.
Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of the legroom, the pitch was standard from my memory.
The PTV showed this on the entire flight (which lasted for 32 minutes). I'm not sure about the load on this flight as I was seated at the front in seat 11A, the rear economy section was divided from the front economy section by curtains.
I'm surprised I snapped a picture of the safety card (at least one side of it), I have forgotten pictures of the safety card in flights that were meant to be reported here.
Boarding was finished pretty quickly as we were only 30-40 passengers that hopped on this flight to DAC. The FAs 'distributed' cartons of local mango juice once boarding was completed, they almost threw them to the passengers and were pretty irritated on the whole flight. Afterwards we taxiied to the runway at approximately 22:28 (10:28 PM) local time and took off at 22:37 (10:37 PM).
The cabin was quite clean at this time. The flight was pretty uneventful which wasn't surprising, we were at cruising altitude for 15-20 minutes before we iniated our descent to DAC. There was however an interesting conversation going on with a few Bengali guys seated next to my father. These guys had been working legally in Muscat for a while to earn some money as the job opportunities were limited at home. They worked legally for a while but then their Visas expired which meant they started working ilegally in Muscat as their Visas had expired. The men were then sentenced to jail for a while and had recently been released from jail but were now deported back to Bangladesh.
We landed at Dhaka at 23:09 (11:09 PM) after a flight time of 32 minutes. A delay of 59 minutes.
You can see the tail of an SQ A333 and PG (Bangkok Airways) A319 to the right.
We then disembarked at 23:25 (11:25 PM) local time. I apologise for the blurry shots. Domestic passengers were requested to disembark by passenger boarding stairs. Passengers from MCT were requested to use the airbridge.
My first domestic flight, my first flight with a 77W and my first flight with Biman.
We were taken by a bus to the small domestic terminal. There were of course no transfer options outside of the airport so we called a cab company and then went to one of our relatives in Dhaka. Thank you for taking your time to read this FR :).
A Scania bus in Bangladesh, nice to see something Swedish here!
The tropical country roads of Bangladesh.
Bandarban District, which is one of three districts that make up the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Bandarban means "The dam of monkeys"
Chittagong - CGP
Dhaka - DAC
My first flight with Biman, it was an interesting feeling flying with a B77W on a flight which lasted for 30 minutes.
Cabin Comfort - Pretty decent seat in terms of comfort, the cabin was spacious in a 9-abreast layout. It was also very clean.
Meal and catering - A carton of mango juice was offered.
Entertainment - The IFE screen was pretty modern and had a decent size, unfortunately I couldn't have a look at the content as the screens weren't operational on this short flight. I'll leave it at a 7.
On-time performance - We arrived at Dhaka with a delay of one hour, I had expected a worse delay if I'm honest.
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