Civil aviation authority lifts ban on passenger flights on a limited scale
After a hiatus of almost two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bangladesh will resume domestic flight operations partially from June 1.
“Flights will be limited to Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet and Syedpur,” Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice Marshall M Mafidur Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune on Thursday.
The airports allowed to resume flight operations have already installed thermal scanners and adopted other safety measures for health check of passengers, according to him.
“Domestic flights on the remaining routes will resume after the other airports ensure guidelines given by the health authorities”, said the CAAB chief.
The ban on passenger flights to and from international routes will remain effective until June 15, Rahman said before adding: “It may be lifted earlier if other countries withdraw travel bans.”
Bahrain, Bhutan, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and United Kingdom (UK) will come under the restriction, he added.
Special flights, air ambulance, emergency landing flights, and cargo flights will remain out of the purview of the ban.
A week after the first virus cases were reported on March 8, Bangladesh suspended visas-on-arrivals for all countries on March 15 and banned some international flights the next day.
Some two weeks later, on March 31, the civil aviation authority suspended all passenger flights till April 7, which was gradually extended to May 30.
Biman passengers can travel with unused tickets
Passengers will be able to travel by using their unused tickets with validity until March 14 without any extra charges, says the national flag carrier.
Flights can be booked online, through travel agents and at the Biman sales centre, Biman Bangladesh Airlines CEO Mokabbir Hossaintold Dhaka Tribune.
Unused tickets for until March 14 can be used to travel without any extra charges, which are also fully refundable, he added.
US-Bangla set to operate flights
Following CAAB’s announcement, the private airlines said on Thursday that it would resume flights from Dhaka to Chattogram, Sylhet and Saidpur from Monday.
In a media statement, it said that CAAB had instructed all passengers to wear masks, gloves and the crew to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while maintaining social distance.
The airlines said it would disinfect its aircraft at the end of every flight. Passengers would have to sanitize their hands and in-flight food service would remain suspended on flights that take less than one and a half hour.