Monday, August 23, 2021

Flights to India: Momen, Biman trade blame for confusion

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Biman are at loggerheads over the confusion created over flight operations to and from India.

Both blamed each other for the mess.

The confusion arose after Momen on August 17 announced to the media that flight operations to India will resume from August 20. Biman subsequently issued a press release that said flights to Delhi and Kolkata will resume on August 22 (yesterday).

However, all these announcements were made without the approval of the Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB). 

Group Captain Chy M Zia Ul Kabir, member (Flight Standard & Regulations), CAAB, yesterday told The Daily Star they still haven't received a response from India about resuming flights after they, on August 4, sent a letter to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India, seeking its approval for flight resumptions from August 11 under the air bubble agreement.

After Biman's announcement, many passengers bought their tickets to India and those currently in India bought their tickets to return home. These passengers are now uncertain as to when the flights will actually resume.

Meanwhile, aviation experts have criticised Biman's management for its unprofessional and imprudent handling of the matter and advised the national flag carrier to offer an apology to the passengers.

Speaking to The Daily Star yesterday over phone from South Africa's Pretoria, Foreign Minister Momen said he did not say that flights between India and Bangladesh will (definitely) resume from August 20.

23/08/21 Rashidul Hasan/Daily Star

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