All Bangladeshi airlines suspend flights to India

- A Monitor Report16 Mar, 2020 | 1643 Views|-+
Dhaka: All four Bangladeshi airlines - Biman Bangladesh Airlines, US-Bangla Airlines, NOVOAIR and Regent Airways – has suspended flights to India

The suspension follows the Indian authorities’ decision to not allow any international flights to enter the country from March 13.

The Indian government has suspended a vast majority of visas for the country in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

A press release was issued in this regard by the Indian High Commission in Dhaka on March 12 said "all valid visas issued by the High Commission of India or the Assistant High Commissions of India in Bangladesh on or before March 12, 2020, will remain suspended from 6 pm, March 13, 2020, till April 15, 2020. No new visa shall be issued from March 13, 2020".

"All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment, project visas, stand till April 15, 2020," the release added.

The national flag carrier, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, along with privately operated US-Bangla Airlines, Regent Airways and NOVOAIR cancelled all their flights to India amid the global outbreak of coronavirus.

Md Mokabbir Hossain, Managing Director of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, said they stopped their flights from March 14 as Indian authorities decided not to allow any international flights to enter the country from 6 pm of March 13.

The airline operates its flights in Dhaka-Kolkata and Dhaka-Delhi routes.

Mokabbir said one aircraft flew to Kolkata on March 15 on an emergency basis to bring passengers from Delhi. Another would fly to Delhi any day for the same purpose, mentioned the Managing Director.

Following the decision of the state, NOVOAIR, which operates its flight between Dhaka and Kolkata, also stopped its operation from March 14.

AKM Mahfuzul Alam, Senior Manager, Marketing and Sales, NOVOAIR, said, "We have made the decision considering the overall situation."

US-Bangla Airlines suspended all its flights to the neighbouring country from March 17, Kamrul Islam, General Manager, Public Relations confirmed.

The airline usually operates its flights on Dhaka-Chennai and Dhaka-Kolkata routes.

They sent flights to Chennai and Kolkata on March 15 and 16 respectively for facilitating the return of their passengers to Bangladesh, he said.

On the other hand, Regent Airways suspended flights to India from March 16, said Imran Asif, CEO of the airline.

On March 11, the Indian government suspended a vast majority of visas to the country in a wide-reaching attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The suspension came into effect on March 13 and will remain till April 15.

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