Friday, August 20, 2021

Bangladesh-India flights in limbo

Although the foreign minister recently said flights with India will resume today, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, US-Bangla and Novoair said they are yet to get any direction from Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) in this regard.

CAAB on the other hand said they are yet to get any formal reply from India about resuming flights.

Amid this situation, several hundred Bangladeshis, most of whom went to India for medical purposes, remained in uncertainty about returning to the country by air. Many Bangladeshis waiting for a long time to go to India for treatment are also in limbo.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said operation of flights between Bangladesh and India will resume today.

He said India had agreed to resume on Bangladesh's request, considering demands of facilitating movement of passengers and goods.

CAAB on August 4 sent a letter to India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation, seeking its approval for resumption on August 11, under an air-bubble agreement.

Air-bubble agreements are arrangements between two countries that allow carriers of both nations to fly passengers either way without restrictions.

"But we are yet to get any reply from our Indian counterpart about the letter. That's why it's hard for us to say right now whether flights will resume from tomorrow [today]," Group Captain Chy M Zia Ul Kabir, member (flight standard and regulations) of CAAB, told The Daily Star.

Biman on Wednesday formally announced plans to operate flights to Kolkata and Delhi from August 22, without mentioning anything about directions to do so.

20/08/21 Rashidul Hasan/Daily Star

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