Biman, Novoair and US-Bangla to resume domestic flights from June 1 | The Daily Star
09:34 PM, May 29, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:37 PM, May 29, 2020

Biman, Novoair and US-Bangla to resume domestic flights from June 1

National flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines and private airline Novoair will each operate seven flights while US-Bangla Airlines will operate 10 flights daily on the Dhaka-Chattogram, Dhaka-Sylhet and Dhaka-Saidpur routes from June 1.

The government had imposed a ban on international flights on March 16 and on all domestic routes on March 25 to contain the spread of Covid-19. On Wednesday, the government announced that it would lift the countrywide shutdown on May 31 after more than two months of closure.

The flights will be operated in line with the government's prescribed health guidelines, including disinfecting the aircraft before boarding passengers every time.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism M Mahbub Ali today urged all passengers to strictly follow the health regulations and social distancing while travelling on domestic flights from June 1.

Biman's Deputy General Manager Tahera Khandaker said, "We will operate morning and evening flights on Chattogram and Sylhet routesand three flights on Saidpurroute daily from June 1 using our Dash 8Q400 aircraft."

US-Bangla Airlines Spokesperson Kamrul Islam said they plan to operate six flights daily on the Chattogram route, three on the Saidpur route and one to Sylhet daily.

Mesbah ul Islam, head of marketing and salesof Novoair, said they are planning to operate three flights each on the Chattogram and Saidpur routes and one to Sylhet daily.

CAAB chairman Air Vice Marshall M Mafidur Rahman said all airlines must follow the health guidelines, including the social distancing system issued by his office with a view to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Last week, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh prepared a guideline with directions to the airlines on how the flights will be operated following all health instructions and social distancing after the withdrawal of the current suspension.

According to the guideline, all airlines have to keep at least 30 percent seats vacant on each flight to ensure social distancing by keeping at least a gap of a seat between two passengers if they are not from the same family.

All staffers of airlines will have to wear masks, gloves and disposable caps while dealing with passengers at the check-in counters while the cabin crew will wear N95 or masks offering equivalent protection, goggles, disposable rubber gloves and change masks every four hours, said the guideline.

Crew members will avoid close contact with passengers and provide only the necessary in-flight services to the passengers, and no food and drink will be served on flights with a journey duration of less than one and a half hours.

Normal meals can be served to passengers during medium and long-haul flights while all types of baby food will be allowed to be carried.

Passengers' body temperatures will be measured and they have to maintain social distancing while queueing in front of check-in counters and boarding gates.

About the seat planning, CAAB further instructed that the front or the last row of seats on each flight must remain vacant for seating any passenger suspected to be a coronavirus patient.

Apart from the country's main aviation hub Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, the CAAB also asked officials of the country's other two international airports in Chattogram, Sylhet and all domestic airports to carry out disinfecting activities on a regular basis.

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