• Monday, Oct 26, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:35 pm

Saudi air tickets: Migrant workers block Kawran Bazar road again

  • Published at 09:20 pm September 26th, 2020
immigrant workers gather-Syed Zakir Hossain
Migrant workers gather in front of the office of Saudi Arabian Airlines at Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka for tickets on Tuesday, September 24, 2020 Syed Zakir Hossain /Dhaka Tribune

Tickets were distributed to the holders of tokens 751-1,200 on Saturday

Hundreds of Bangladeshi migrant workers on Saturday again blocked the road in front of the Saudi Arabian Airlines office at Pan Pacific Sonargaon in Dhaka, demanding air tickets for flying back to Saudi Arabia..

Earlier, migrant workers had blockaded the road in front of the Saudi Arabian Airlines office for similar reasons on Tuesday, September 22.

The migrant workers are desperate for air tickets as they fear they may lose their jobs if they do not return to their workplaces in Saudi Arabia soon. Visas and work permits (Akama) of many of the migrant workers are set to expire this month.

On Saturday, ticket seekers said Saudi Arabian Airlines had issued 6,000 tokens and tickets would be given to the token holders by September 29. Those who did not get tokens blockaded the road.

Tickets were distributed to the holders of tokens 751-1,200 on Saturday, they added.

Abdur Rashid, officer-in-charge (OC) of Hatirjheel police station, said ticket seekers blockaded the Hatirjheel link road in front of Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel for about half an hour from 11am, bringing traffic to a standstill. Traffic movement later returned to normal when police moved the protestors to the side of the road. 

On the same day, hundreds of other migrant workers positioned themselves in front of the Biman Bangladesh Airlines sales office in Motijheel to demand tokens for air tickets.

Motijheel police station Inspector (investigation) Manor Hossian Molla told Dhaka Tribune tokens had already been distributed and the token schedule had also been announced. Those who created chaos at the Biman office did not get tokens.

He also said police were looking into the matter of some people who went to the Biman office demanding tokens but did not know of their flights or destinations.

“They were just trying to get into the Biman office,” he added.

On Sunday, September 20, hundreds of migrant workers flocked to the Saudi Arabian Airlines office at Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon demanding tickets. The airlines provided tokens to the migrants in order to maintain discipline.

However, when the migrants returned to the office with their tokens on Tuesday, they were told that the tickets had already been sold out and the airline office was closed. Frustrated at having been denied tickets after the wait, with some of the migrant workers even sleeping in front of the office from Sunday, hundreds of the workers blockaded nearby roads.

On Monday, Biman Bangladesh Airlines said Saudi Arabia had finally given it the green light to operate flights to and from the country from October 1.

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