Currently 18 flights are operating in six routes amid travel restrictions on long-route buses, launch, trains
Eid holidaymakers are rushing for domestic flight tickets as the suspension on long-distance buses, trains and launches have remained in force due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
But the airline officials are demanding permission to operate more flights since the number of flights is not adequate to tackle the pressure ahead of Eid.
Travel agencies and airline officials are saying that passengers are constantly contacting them for tickets, but they are helpless. Almost all tickets for flights between May 10 and May 12 have already been sold out.
On April 5, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) suspended domestic flights alongside other restrictions imposed by the government to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
From April 21, the authorities allowed 11 flights on six domestic routes, except for Cox’s Bazar. Later, at the request of the airlines, seven more flights were added, bringing the total number to 18.
Biman General Manager (Public Relations) Tahera Khondoker said that the national carrier had requested the authorities to increase the number of flights.
Mohammad Anwar Hossain, owner of the travel agency Zamzam Travels, said: "The demand for air tickets is very high now. But we are unable to provide the tickets because the number of flights is lower than the demand. People are buying advance tickets for May 10-12 considering that Eid-ul-fitr might be observed on May 13.”
According to NovoAir, all tickets of its Dhaka-Barisal, Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Saidpur and Dhaka-Rajshahi routes have been sold out for several days from May 10.
US-Bangla Airlines General Manager (Public Relations) Md Kamrul Islam said that they were operating flights from Dhaka to Chittagong, Sylhet, Jessore, Saidpur and Barisal following health precautions.
“As the demand has increased, we have applied to the authorities to increase the number of flights,” he added.
At present, the body temperature of passengers is monitored at the entrance of the airport. After entering the airport, the passengers have to follow hygiene rules before boarding a plane.
CAAB Chairman Air Vice-Marshal Mafidur Rahman said: “Limited number of flights was allowed considering emergencies. The number of flights can be increased considering the situation in future.”
The minimum one-way fare for the domestic routes is Tk3,200 and the maximum is Tk7,400.