The government has decided to send migrant workers with valid work visas abroad on special flights amid lockdown
The government has announced that it will allow airlines to operate flights with Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore from 6am on Saturday.
The current scheduled flights would be declared as special flights, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism said in a press release issued Thursday.
Directives on health and safety, quarantine and other relevant issues would be issued after deliberation, it added.
On Sunday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) said international and domestic flights would remain suspended from Wednesday, the first day of the weeklong strict lockdown imposed to curb the recent surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths in the country.
Operations of around 500 international flights had been suspended for the lockdown, said CAAB Chairman Air Vice-Marshal M Mafidur Rahman.
Then in an inter-ministerial meeting on Wednesday, the government decided to send migrant workers with valid work visas abroad on special flights.
Initially, permission had been given to send expatriates to Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
Apart from the five countries, arrangements would also be made to send migrant workers to countries where they were allowed to go, said Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad.
Following the CAAB announcement, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the national flag carrier, issued a statement on Thursday saying they would operate special flights with the five aforementioned countries.
It said that the Biman flight to Riyadh on Saturday, which scheduled for 4am, had been rescheduled for 6:15am. Passengers have been requested to be present at the airport at least six hours ahead of the flight time, with Covid-19 negative certificate.
For details, passengers are requested to contact Biman sales office or their call centre.