Bangladesh resumes int’l flight operation on limited-scale


DHAKA, June 16, 2020 (BSS) – Bangladesh today resumed international flight operation on limited scale after nearly three months of flight suspension for containing outbreak of COVOD-19 pandemic.

A Qatar Airways’ commercial flight landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at 1:58 am from Doha with 33 transit passengers and flew back to Doha with 274 transit travelers as part of international flight operation’s resumption from Bangladesh, Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB) chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman told BSS.

On June 11, the government decided to resume Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight on Dhaka-London-Dhaka route and had given permission to Qatar Airways to operate three weekly flight on Dhoa-Dhaka-Doha route in condition of carrying only transit passengers from today.

The CAAB chairman said they took all preparations to operate the international flight as per a set of health guideline prepared following the instruction of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Rahman said, he held a coordination meeting on Monday with station managers and ground handlers of airlines to remind them that they must follow CAAB’s health guideline of ensuring hygiene and social distancing while operating the international flights.

“We deployed additional manpower at the airport for marshalling passengers so that they could maintain social distancing and follow health hygiene properly and we have able to successfully operate the first flight after resumption with our health guideline,” he said.

The CAAB installed a disinfectant tunnel at the boarding gate to sanitize the arrival passengers before getting into the airport terminal. “We have planned to install six more such disinfectant tunnels at other gates of the airport including the VIP terminal gradually,” Rahman added.

The CAAB chairman said all the returnee passengers would have to be sent to a 14-day institutional quarantine if they fail to show COVID-19 negative certificate or to pass the medical examination at the airport on their arrival here.

“And, 14-day home quarantine is made mandatory for all returnee passengers after their arrival here,” he added.

Qatar Airways will operate three weekly flights on Doha-Dhaka-Doha route on every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

However, Biman Bangladesh Airlines has decided to operate Dhaka-London-Dhaka flight from June 21. “Initially, we will operate a weekly flight to London on every Sunday,” said Biman’s spokesperson Tahera Khondoker.

Earlier, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Mohibul Haque told BSS that Biman would operate daily London flight gradually as like the previous regular schedule upon getting enough passengers.

The senior secretary said the government would like to reestablish air connectivity with the external world on limited scale while the country has almost been cut off from the globe as currently flight operation remains open with China only.

On May 28 the government extended the ongoing suspension on commercial scheduled international flights for seventh consecutive times till June 15 to and from Bahrain, Bhutan, Hongkong, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, and the UK.

From June 1, Bangladesh resumed domestic flight operations after more than two months on a limited scale.

Meanwhile, different countries, including India, the USA, the UK, Japan, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Bhutan, Myanmar and different European countries so far operated several special chartered flights amid the flight suspension to repatriate their citizens from here.

Bangladesh government also facilitated chartered flights to bring back its nationals from a number of countries, including India, the USA, the UK, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and the UAE.