CAAB chairman hopes the international flights will fully resume when the lockdown ends
Special flights for migrant workers would operate for another week as the government has decided to extend the ongoing lockdown, says the civil aviation authority.
However, other scheduled international flights to and from Bangladesh will remain suspended till April 28, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman M Mafidur Rahman told Dhaka Tribune on Monday.
He said special flights for expatriates and people in emergency will continue to operate for another week, in compliance with the conditions already announced.
Special flights to Oman, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore are supposed to continue, so that thousands of migrant workers who are stuck in Bangladesh since April 14 can return to their workplaces.
The CAAB chief said he hoped the international flights would fully resume after the lockdown ended.
However, domestic flights are not being allowed to operate amid the lockdown due to disagreements of stakeholders, he added.
Also Read - Special flights for migrant workers leave Dhaka
Domestic and international flight suspension extended
Meanwhile, the CAAB on Monday extended the restrictions on domestic and international passenger flights for eight more days with effect from April 21 as per government guidance and instructions.
The announcements came hours after the government decided to extend the ongoing strict lockdown till April 28 to contain the spread of Covid-19.
"The restriction on scheduled domestic passenger flights and charter flights operation is extended with effect from 21 April until 28 April," read a circular issued by CAAB.
On April 11, all international passenger flights to and from Bangladesh were suspended for a week from April 14 following a government directive.
According to the figures by Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) and Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB), about 20,000 to 25,000 migrant workers were supposed to catch their flights in the one week from April 14.
On Saturday, the initiative to send migrant workers to their workplaces suffered a hiccup at the beginning as most of the special flights scheduled for the day were cancelled.
Around 200 Saudi Arabia-bound migrants protested at the Dhaka airport early Saturday morning after a special Biman flight to Riyadh was cancelled at the last minute.
Later on Sunday, 12 special flights, carrying several hundred migrant workers, left Dhaka for several Middle East destinations.