A total of 243 Bangladeshi citizens stranded in the US amid the coronavirus pandemic have landed in Dhaka early today by a special flight of Qatar Airways.
"Carrying the passengers from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), the special flight landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at around 3:16am," Mohammad Faruk Hossain, airport security manager, told The Daily Star.
The chartered A 350-900 airbus of Qatar Airways took off at 11:04pm (Washington local time) on May 15.
The aircraft took an hour long technical stopover at Doha Airport in Qatar at 7:00pm (Doha time) on May 16, said sources at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the US Mohammad Ziauddin saw off the passengers at the airport and wished them a safe flight, the embassy said in a release.
The travelling passengers included mostly Bangladeshi students studying in different colleges and universities in the US, Bangladeshi citizens who came to America on tourist and business visas and some government and non-government officials.
The passengers also include 49 school and college students who came to the US under an Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) programme.
Since March 16, Bangladesh imposed a ban on scheduled passenger flight operation with all countries, except China, to contain the spread of Covid-19.
In the last week, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh extended the ban till May 30.
The Bangladesh government so far operated repatriation flights from different countries including India, Malaysia, Australia and Bangkok to bring back Bangladeshi stranded citizens to the country.