The recommendations came at an inter-ministerial meeting on Thursday
The Civil Aviation Authority Bangladesh (CAAB) has decided to operate flights to Kuwait and Bahrain with special consideration to reach expatriate workers.
A notification was issued in this regard on Friday by CAAB that said that in case of operating flights, the special conditions of the decision taken at the CAAB meeting on April 18 have to be complied with, reports media.
Now that the government has facilitated the return of stranded migrant workers amid a ban, an inter-ministerial meeting had recommended that flights be resumed for Bangladeshi expatriates willing to return to Bahrain and Kuwait from Sunday.
The state ministers for expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment, and civil aviation and tourism held the meeting on Thursday night, reports Bangla Tribune.
It was said at the meeting that a significant number of migrant workers are stuck in Bangladesh, upon their return from Bahrain and Kuwait, and their visas may expire soon.
So, the commercial flights can be allowed to the two countries from Sunday, the officials concerned suggested.
Jazeera Airways will operate flights on Dhaka-Kuwait route.
- Only Point to point passengers and the passengers of China, Bahrain, KSA, Oman, Qatar, Singapore and UAE can be carried to/from Dhaka.
- Irrespective of the Covid-19 vaccination, all incoming and outgoing passengers shall mandatorily possess ‘PCR based Covid-19 negative certificate’. The PCR test must be done within 72 hours of the flight departure time.
- Under the same condition, passengers coming to Bangladesh by the flights cleared under this special consideration shall strictly have to complete a 14 (fourteen) days institutional quarantine at government nominated facilities or at hotels on passenger’s own expenses. Airlines shall issue boarding passes after ensuring that the institutional quarantine arrangement is in place for the passenger concerned.
- Capacity restrictions for outgoing flights from Dhaka: No capacity restriction for Narrow Bodied (Single aisle) aircraft. All Wide Bodied (Twin aisle) aircraft can carry a maximum of 280 passengers, except B777 and B747 aircraft would be entitled to carry up to 320 passengers.
- Capacity restrictions for incoming flights to Dhaka: A maximum of 100 passengers in the Narrow Bodied (Single aisle) aircraft and 150 passengers by the Wide Bodied (Twin aisle) aircraft would be permitted.
- Incoming and outgoing flights: In both the cases of Narrow-Body or Wide-Body aircraft, at least the last row of the economy class and one seat of business class cabin shall be kept vacant for any suspected Covid-19 positive passenger(s). Moreover, all health directives including disinfection, social distancing etc. procedure at the airport or in the aircraft shall strictly to be complied following the other directives of CAAB.
- It is expected that the Airlines should charge usual airfare to the passengers as the capacity restriction for the fights are relaxed and the ground handling and other relevant charges will be imposed considering such flights as scheduled passenger flights.
On April 11, all international passenger flights to and from Bangladesh were suspended for a week from April 14, when the strict lockdown started.
But the government from April 18 resumed special flights to several Middle East destinations the lockdown was extended till April 28.
Initially, the authorities allowed to send expatriates to Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore.
However, other scheduled international flights to and from Bangladesh will remain suspended till April 28, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh.
An official estimate shows that more than 40,000 migrant workers have remained stranded in the country due to the suspension of international flights so far.
A huge number of them had already managed to fulfil requirements, in light of the pandemic, like medical certificates and hotel booking for quarantine in their destination country.
In such a situation, workers, airways operators, the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) and the Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) had been urging the government to keep international flights open on condition.