"Document mixup prevents Kabo Air 747 from operating Biman Hajj flight
Kabo Air (N9, Kano) has come under pressure from the Bangladeshi press after its B747-400, 5N-MDK (msn 26878), on lease to Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG, Dhaka) for Hajj operations, was grounded in Dhaka by the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia (GACA) on its maiden Hajj flight. According to Bangladesh's BDNews24, the aircraft had not obtained GACA approval because the authority reportedly considered it "too old". 5N-MDK is 20.5 years old. As a result of the grounding, Biman was forced to use its own B777-300(ER) which took off for Jeddah with 419 pilgrims on Saturday leaving 163 pilgrims stranded. Said Biman's CEO, Kevin Steele, "Kabo should have cleared this much earlier with the authorities." Kabo Air's representative in Dhaka, Iftekharul Alam, alleged that Biman authorities were responsible for the delay in getting permission to fly the wet-leased aircraft. He claimed that he had sent all the requisite documents to Bimanís Jeddah office through Bimanís flight control centre in Dhaka "at least 25 days ago". The Jeddah office was supposed to forward the application to the GACA through the General Sales Agents (GSA), but it could not do so as the GSA had not had its license renewed, he claimed. An inquest committee comprising officials from the Bangladeshi Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh has been set up to investigate the debacle. "