by Staff Correspondent,
Dhaka – Every time you board a commercial passenger flight, domestic or international, you will be warned by a steward or stewardess against inflight smoking as all airlines nowadays strictly maintain non-smoking flights.
“This flight is non-smoking. Smoking is strictly prohibited entirely on this flight, including lavatories, which are also equipped with smoke detectors, and punishable with fines. Electronic cigarettes are also prohibited,” generally announces any of the members of the crew just after you fasten your seat-belt for the aircraft’s take-off.
How you will feel when a member of crew in uniform smokes inflight behind the curtain? Just wired or you feel unsafe!
A flight stewardess of the state-run Biman Bangladesh Airlines has been caught up recently in a footage showing she was smoking inflight, in a serious breach of fight safety and international aviation regulations.
The national flag carrier issued the cabin crew, Marian Adhikary (Mary) who is the women affairs secretary of Bangladesh Biman Cabin Crew Union, with a notice asking her explanation as to why she should not be punished for her offence.
“It` has been for your kind information that the Biman Bangladesh Airlines management has come to know that you have taken a cigarette or something like cigarette inflight while in uniform. Such activity amounts to being unprofessional. It is also against the Biman regulations,” reads the show-cause letter issued on April 30.
Marian Adhikary, also a junior purser, was asked to respond in writing within 96 hours after receiving the letter. “Otherwise, departmental action will be taken against you as per the Biman service regulation,” added the letter.
The stewardess, when contacted, however declined to comment on account that she was not allowed to talk to the press without permission from the management.
Periodically, the state-run airlines in letters to its staff members keeps updated with warnings against smoking inside aircraft, including lavatories, galley areas, cabin and cockpits for the safety of the crew members and the aircrafts.
In a 2020 notice, the airlines reminded all concerned that Biman is a smoking free organization.
”Especially, inflight smoking is internationally banned. Such activities are against the section 7 of Smoking and Tobacco (Control) Act of 2005,” stated the notice asking everyone to help keep Biman non-smoking.
However, none was seen punished for inflight smoking so far by the Biman authorities, aviation insiders say. In the case of Mary, the show-cause issued was seemed “very soft” and the safety issue was not included in the letter, said an official.
“Neither any investigation was launched into the incident nor was she grounded for breaching the safety regulation for reason unknown,” said the official preferring not to be named.
According to the Cabin Operation and Safety Manual of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, smoking is strictly prohibited in any phase of flight while on duty.
“Smoking in a public place when standing up and /or at any other time while in uniform is prohibited,” says the Biman’s Regulation and Standard Operating Procedure revised in August 2019.
Considering the safety and health against the backdrop of many reported air crashes linked to smoking, a total ban on inflight smoking was internationally imposed in 2017 after gradual restrictions since 1971 when advocacy groups vigorously campaigned for smoking-free air travel.