The civil aviation authorities have permitted 12 airlines to operate flights to the five countries
The government has started special flights to five countries from Saturday for expatriate workers and ordinary passengers, who are in urgent need, making it mandatory to meet certain conditions before flying out of Bangladesh.
The special flights will be operated to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Qatar, and Singapore.
Apart from these five countries, those who want to go abroad in case of emergency can also board the special flights as transit passengers subject to clearance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
CAAB permits 12 airlines
Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), said they permitted 12 airlines to operate flights to the five countries.
These are Biman Bangladesh Airlines, US-Bangla Airlines, Saudia, Oman Air, Salam Air, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Air Arabia, Fly Dubai, China Southern Airlines, and Singapore Airlines.
From Saturday, the airlines will operate 14 flights a day to these five countries, the CAAB chairman said.
He also said a wide-bodied aircraft will carry no more than 280 passengers, but Boeing 777 and 787 can carry 320 passengers.
In the case of return flights, a wide-bodied aircraft will carry 150 passengers while a narrow-bodied or single-aisle aircraft will bring no more than 100 passengers.
Conditions to be met for boarding special flights
1. The expatriate Bangladeshi workers, who have BMET (Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training) clearance certificate issued by the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, will be given priority in going to these five countries.
2. Those who have visit visas but do not have the BMET clearance certificate, will not get priority in going abroad.
3. Bangladeshis who want to go to the UAE for work with a visit visa can avail the certificate and fly to the destination.
4. In case of return from the five countries, expatriates or transit passengers have to carry a passport/valid visa/air ticket/BMET clearance certificate or a pass issued by a security agency.
5. Those who have already purchased tickets (from any airlines) to travel from Chittagong will be brought to Dhaka by a connecting flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
6. Passengers who have not been able to go abroad despite buying tickets before the April 14 lockdown, will be repatriated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines or the national carriers of the respective countries.
Dos for incoming passengers
1. Expatriate Bangladeshis can return to the country in case of emergency on the condition of 14 days’ compulsory institutional quarantine.
2. Every passenger must show a Covid-19 negative certificate.
3. Bangladesh missions abroad will prepare a list of expatriate workers willing to return to the country.
4. The Armed Forces Division will make adequate preparations in Diabari (Uttara, Dhaka), Chittagong, and Sylhet to ensure a 14-day institutional quarantine of the passengers returning from abroad.
5. Passengers coming from the five countries will confirm their booking at the designated hotels for quarantine before their boarding.