CAAB demands health insurance
The Civil Aviation and Tourism ministry is planning to resume flights after the Eid holidays.
The ministry has also decided to waive charges, both aeronautical and non-aeronautical, to help airlines with the economic crisis caused by Covid-19.
“We mainly discussed two issues - how to support our airways and overcome the current situation,” State Minister for Civil Aviation Mahbub Ali told Dhaka Tribune after meeting with the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) at the secretariat on Tuesday.
“We are thinking about operating flights after the Eid vacation, but we need to ensure safety and set up disinfecting equipment. Other countries are also setting plans to operate flights while strictly following hygiene and health guidelines,” he added.
“The operation of flights depends on the internal situation and interests of airlines, but we are taking preparations,” the state minister further said.
Civil Aviation Secretary Mohibul Haque said: “After discussions, we have decided to waive aeronautical and non-aeronautical charges for both domestic and international airways. The waiver includes charges for fuel.
“Jet fuel prices have declined in the international market, so we will submit a proposal to the Ministry of Energy to consider the international market,” he added
Mohibul further said: “We are working on how to disinfect the entire airport by May 30, so the airport will be eligible for flight operation. The airports of other countries also have be free of viruses so that passengers can safely travel.”
The civil aviation secretary also mentioned that the government was giving incentive packages to help airlines with financial problems.
“The government is offering incentive packages and Biman Bangladesh Airlines have already taken a loan. If any airlines need financial support, they could take the incentive package,” he said.
“We are primarily offering waivers on aviation charges for landing, parking and housing, boarding bridge fees, security, route navigation facility charges, overflying, reduction in fuel prices and charges for flights beyond optimized hours of operation, etc,” added Aviation Secretary Mohibul Haque.
After getting allocation from the government, all final decisions will be published in a gazette soon, he added.
CAAB demands support for airlines, health insurance
During the meeting, CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshall M Mafidur Rahman presented a keynote paper on how other countries are setting to plans to resume flights and offering waivers on various charges for one year or more to their airways.
“We have proposed full wavier for of aeronautical charge domestic and 50% for international airlines,” said the CAAB chairman.
He added that other countries such as Australia, Turkey, China, UK and the USA have allocated special stimulus packages for their airways.
“We need to support our airlines so they can operate flights,” the CAAB chairman said.
He also said: “We demand government health insurance for working on the coronavirus front lines, so that if any official is infected or dies, then they will get financial support.
“Our employees will be at risk working on the frontier. The prime minister has already given allocations to employees of other sectors. We need health insurance and financial support because we were the first to receive the infected and will disinfect people at the airport,” he added.
On April 13, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced an allocation of Tk750 crore for insurance for doctors, nurses, health workers, field officers, members of law enforcement agencies, armed forces, BGB and other government employees who are risking their lives to fight the coronavirus pandemic.