Biman Bangladesh Airlines cancelled all its domestic flights due to lack of passengers yesterday, a day after the government reopened public transport amid escalation of Covid-19 cases.
Tahera Khandaker, deputy general manager (public relations) of Biman, told The Daily Star said, "We were forced to cancel all our 12 flights [way) scheduled for today [yesterday] as number of passengers were very low."
The maiden flight of Biman on Dhaka-Saidpur route took off on Monday with only four passengers on board while the return flight had 20 passengers, said Tahera.
According to sources the price difference between the national flag carrier and private operators was one of the main reasons behind the passenger shortage.
Biman was charging Tk 7,000 as starting price for tickets while two private airlines -- US-Bangla and Novoair -- charged Tk 3,000 and Tk 3,200 for the same ticket.
That is why people are moving to the two private operators for air travel, said the sources.
Apart from Biman, US-Bangla Airlines was forced to cancel two of its flights on Chattagram route on Monday due to passenger shortage.
Kamrul Islam, general manager (public relations) of the leading private air operator said.
Novoair, another private airlines, however, was able to operate all its seven scheduled flights to these three destinations from the capital on Monday.
Domestic flight operation was resumed yesterday on a limited scale on three routes from the capital after more than two months of suspension due to coronavirus.