• Thursday, Feb 09, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Local airlines call to operate domestic flights

  • Published at 04:55 pm April 7th, 2021
File photo of Boeing 777-300 ER flying under the banner of Biman Bangladesh Airlines. Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

All domestic flights were suspended from Sunday to curb the spread of Covid-19

The local airways are seeking permission to operate flights on domestic routes while strictly following health guidelines.

Previously, airlines were allowed to operate flights on international routes, but some of them were forced to cancel flights, while others changed their flight schedules due to the low turnout of passengers.

Meanwhile, the government imposed a week-long lockdown starting from Monday to curb the spread of Covid-19.

However, considering demands of the public, the government resumed public transports services in all 11 cities including Dhaka from Tuesday.

In such a situation, domestic flight operators called for resuming activities on all domestic routes so that passengers can easily access flights and reach their homes safely.

Domestic flight operators have claimed that they ensure health safety facilities in and out of the air crafts during travel. All airlines are always under monitoring by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), aiming to control the transmission of the virus.

US-Bangla General Manager (Public Relations) Kamrul Islam said: “We are always ready and are seeking permission to operate flights. We always follow the health guidelines of the government and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).”

“After getting permission, we will operate the flight as we did last year following 35 hygiene rules. The passengers also rely on us to travel on domestic routes,” he added.

Echoing his statements, Mesbah-ul Islam, head of marketing and sales for Novoair, said: “We want to operate flights, albeit on a limited scale.”

A top Biman official, preferring anonymity, said the national flag carrier has to cancel flights and reschedule on international routes due to a shortage of passengers.

“So, If airways are not allowed to operate flights on domestic routes, we will lose more of our regular passengers,” the official added.

The industry insider said, if the airways cannot operate domestic flights, they will lose revenue. This will have a negative impact on the aviation sector.

State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali told Dhaka Tribune: “So far we have no plans to allow domestic flights. However, this issue will be discussed in the inter-ministerial meeting on Thursday.

On Sunday, CAAB decided to suspend all domestic flights to curb the spread of Covid-19. 

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