In conversation with Shakil Meraj, GM of PR of Biman Bangladesh Airlines

Biman is name strongly associated with Bangladesh and for good reason. Biman Bangladesh Airlines began less than a year after Bangladesh became independent and has been its flag-bearer ever since. Formed with the vision of flying Bangladesh’s newly free citizens across the skies, Biman has flown over 5 crore and 50 lac people till date. One individual who has ensured Biman’s growth for the better part of two decades is incumbent General Manager of Public Relations, Shakil Meraj.

Meraj is someone who thrives on communication. During his university days he was involved with the Bangladesh Observer, as well as the Chartered President of the Rotaract Club and Senior Vice President of the Press Club. He joined the Financial Express after graduating and was in charge of the lead news of its very first issue. Meraj joined Biman Bangladesh in 1994 and over the years has assumed various roles across various departments. “I have worked with HR, flight operation, airport services and procurement and logistical support and now I am the head of PR and the spokesperson for Biman Bangladesh.”, explained Meraj. Being the spokesperson of the first airline company of Bangladesh is a very sensitive job, especially in this age of information. One needs to choose their words very wisely. “My job is to inform, educate and entertain stakeholders and the general public. Connectivity is the key that keeps the wheels of our economy running. My experience with journalism helps me a lot in this area as I have built a very strong network over the years.”, added Meraj. Meraj also has to deal with crisis communication to ensure that any mishap is properly dealt with in the media.

But that’s not all, Meraj’s responsibilities also include ensuring that Biman Bangladesh is keeping up with changing trends. Biman Bangladesh has always been the pioneering airlines of Bangladesh and that is evident with their introduction of the Dakota Dreamliner earlier this year. Meraj stated how the new Boeing 787 is going to upgrade the service, “We have introduced a new international menu, digital services like online ticketing, seat choice and even meal choice. Furthermore, the plane has Wifi and mobile service and also live streams 9 international TV channels. We also started an open auction service which allows passenger to upgrade from economy class to business class. Oh, and did I mention that the Dreamliner consumes 20% less fuel?”. Absolute gamechanger!

Shakil plans to take Biman’s image to newer heights. He is already working to completely revamp Biman’s social media by not only ensuring that they are more active on Facebook but also making sure that they spread out to Instagram and YouTube. This way, Biman Bangladesh will be able to connect to younger customers. Also, in order to show the world that Biman Bangladesh can keep up with changing times, they collaborated with us for a photoshoot. “ICE Today is the premier lifestyle magazine of Bangladesh and Biman Bangladesh is its premier airlines. I wanted to combine high-end fashion with the most state-of-the-art aircraft known to man.”, added Meraj. The photographs were nothing short of spectacular and they really send the message that Biman is not shy about adapting to new trends.

Biman Bangladesh continues to grow and spread its wings and with people like Shakil Meraj working tirelessly behind the scenes, the sky is the limit!

Irfan Aziz

Irfan Aziz is a Sub Editor of ICE Today magazine. He is a pug enthusiast who loves looking at memes, writing and sketching.