Lack of passengers has led to the decision
Biman Bangladesh Airlines has decided to suspend its scheduled flights on the Dhaka-Kolkata and Dhaka-Chennai routes due to a crisis in passenger numbers.
The decision will take effect from November 12 on the Dhaka-Kolkata route and from November 15 on the Dhaka - Chennai - Dhaka route and will be in effect until further notice.
The national carrier flag has not operated any flight on the Dhaka-Kolkata route since November 5 anyway.
After a six-month hiatus due to the pandemic, flights with India resumed on October 28 under the Air Bubble Agreement.
Although there was an inadequate number of passengers on the Dhaka-Kolkata route at the beginning, with the passage of time the number started dropping even further.
In these circumstances, Bangladesh Biman was forced to cancel the flights to avoid losses, said Biman Deputy General Manager Tahera Khondoker.
Acknowledging the matter, Mokabbir Hossain, managing director of Biman, said there were only five to seven passengers on the Kolkata flight. It was not possible to fly with so few passengers and so the flight was canceled.
Biman had previously been operating three flights a week on each of the Dhaka-Kolkata, Dhaka-Chennai and Dhaka-Delhi routes.
Currently, there are only two flights operating to Delhi per week.
Besides, NovoAir operates one flight on the Dhaka-Kolkata route and US Bangla operates 13 flights on the Chennai and Kolkata routes per week.
Air India, Indigo, SpiceJet, Vistara and GoAir have been allowed to operate flights under the Air Bubble Agreement as well.
One of the reasons behind the lack of passengers might be the suspension of tourism visas by India.
At present Bangladeshi travelers can go to India for purposes of business, medical treatment, education, research, conference, employment and training but not for tourism.
In addition, India has made it mandatory for all passengers to obtain Covid-19 negative certificates within 72 hours of departure.