With most countries easing restrictions on flights Bangladesh has started operating international flights as well
Despite the Covid-19 situation in the country and worldwide, inbound and outbound flights from most of the countries are gradually easing restrictions to redeem the aviation sector.
In line with the circumstances, Bangladesh has resumed scheduled flights on all domestic and international routes except some countries with travel restrictions.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) and a number of airlines said they are now planning to resume more flight operations to and from Bangladesh.
CAAB Chairman, Air Vice Marshall M Mafidur Rahman said: “We have issued updated guidelines for air operators, airports, and passengers, in its efforts to increase passengers on domestic and international routes.”
CAAB lifted the directive previously given to operators to keep 25% seats vacant in any flight for maintaining social distance following the International Air Transport Association (IATA) rules.
Now flight operators can carry passengers in all seats except the last two rows, on condition that the airline provides face shields to passengers.
The Civil Aviation Authority permitted scheduled international flights to and from eight countries.
The countries are – China, Malaysia, Maldives, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UAE, and the UK.
The national flag carrier is now operating scheduled flights to several destinations – London, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Riyadh, and Jeddah – out of its 16 international destinations.
In addition, Biman will also operate flights to Dammam and Singapore from October 1 and to Muscat from October 2.
Besides, Biman is currently operating special and cargo flights on various routes.
The airline is currently operating on average two or more flights per week on international routes.
Qatar Airways is operating four scheduled flights on the Doha-Dhaka-Doha route per week.
Saudia, formerly known as Saudi Arabian Airlines – is operating four flights per week.
Emirates is operating nine flights a week out of the usual 21 on the Dubai-Dhaka-Dubai route. The flight number will be increased soon. The airline is operating from June 24.
Air Arabia is operating three flights per week on each route from Dhaka to Abu Dhabi and Dhaka to Sharjah.
However, the airline is also operating three flights from Chittagong to Dhaka per week.
Air Arabia, the first low-cost carrier operating out of UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi, announced the introduction of direct flights to Dhaka on August 7.
Etihad Airways operates two flights per week from Dhaka, despite the airline suspending its flights due to shortage of passengers and other internal issues.
Flydubai, the airline is currently operating four flights per week from Dhaka and Chittagong respectively.
Turkish Airlines is operating flights on the Istanbul-Dhaka route from July 2. The airline is currently operating seven flights per week.
Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia, China Southern, Malindo
These airlines are operating one flight per week from Dhaka.
The airline is operating three flights per week from Dhaka.
SriLankan Airlines, Gulf Air, Oman Air, SalamAir, Jazeera Airways
The five airways are operating two flights per week. Kuwaiti airlines Jazeera Airways is also operating two flights per week from Dhaka.
However, Oman Air and Salam Air are additionally operating two flights per week from Chittagong.
Thai Airways initially started operating five flights per week from August 1.
The private local airline US-Bangla is currently operating international flights to Guangzhou and Doha with two flights per week on each destination, while the airline is set to operate one flight on the Dhaka-Muscat route from October 1 and Dhaka-Singapore-Dhaka route from October 3.
This airline will start operating two flights per week from Dhaka from October 20.
There is no permission pending for operating a flight from Bangladesh, said CAAB Chief Mafidur Rahman adding that CAAB will approve more flights per week for any airways as necessary.
No go countries
Despite the number of international flights increasing gradually, Japan, South Korea, and India strengthened their entry restrictions for Bangladeshi citizens. (need to be updated)
Owing to the resuming international flights, people can now fly at a lower cost compared to what they had to pay to avail a seat on chartered flights during the pandemic, said CAAB.
Rules to follow
The government decided that all passengers will not have to have a Covid-19 certificate. The clearance would only be mandatory when the destination country of the respective passenger asks for it, said the CAAB chairman.
Meanwhile, foreign nationals coming to Bangladesh with valid visas will be required to produce a medical certificate (with English translation) obtained within 72 hours of travel, indicating that the passenger is Covid-19 negative.
People entering Bangladesh must self-isolate for 14 days even if they do have a valid certificate.