Saudi Arabian Airlines to operate 6 special flights from Dhaka within Sept 30 | The Daily Star
04:33 PM, September 24, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:40 PM, September 24, 2020

Saudi Arabian Airlines to operate 6 special flights from Dhaka within Sept 30

Saudi Arabian Airlines will operate six special flights from Dhaka within September 30 -- facilitating the return of Bangladeshi workers to the Gulf country.

Besides, the airlines has sought permission from Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh to operate more regular flights from Dhaka from October 1.

"We will operate six special flights from Dhaka in the next six days (within September 30) to facilitate more Bangladeshi expatriate workers return to their workplaces in Saudi Arabia," a top official of Saudia told The Daily Star over telephone.

Wishing anonymity, he also said apart from the six special flights, the airline will continue to operate their two weekly regular flights from Dhaka till September 30.

Asked how many flights Saudia will operate from Dhaka from October 1, the official said they will inform the media about this after getting approval from CAAB.

CAAB Chairman Air-Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman told The Daily Star that they would give permission to Saudia to operate as many flights as needed.

Meanwhile, many stranded Bangladeshi workers today gathered in front of the Saudi Airlines ticket counter at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka since early morning to get tickets.

A police official informed them that token holders with serial number 1 to 500 will be issued tickets today, token holders with serial number 501 to 850 will be issued tickets on Friday, serial number 851 to 1200 on Saturday, and 1201 to 1500 on Sunday.

Those yet to collect tokens were asked to come on September 29.

The government on Wednesday said the Saudi government has agreed to extend iqama and visas for 24 days for Bangladeshis who returned home on holiday but could not go back to the kingdom due to the pandemic.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told The Daily Star that the migrant workers could get their expired visas renewed at the Saudi embassy in Bangladesh from Sunday and that their work permits (iqama) would remain valid until October 17.

The validity of the permits could be extended further if need be.

Momen also said the Saudi government had given landing permissions to Biman, which would help the return of the Bangladeshi workers.

The government of Bangladesh has also given permission to all Saudi airlines to land here and take Bangladeshis back, he added.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam in a Facebook post said the Saudi government has permitted Biman Bangladesh Airlines to operate weekly two flights each to Riyadh and Jeddah.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines is scheduled to start regular flight operation to Saudi Arabia from October 1, sources at the airlines said.

Biman is going to operate a Dhaka-Jeddah flight on September 26 and a Dhaka-Riyadh flight on September 27 for return ticket holders of March 16 and 17.

At least 35,000 Bangladeshis were worried that they would lose their jobs if they could not return to Saudi Arabia before expiry of their visa and iqama.

Home to more than 22 lakh Bangladeshis, Saudi Arabia is also the prime destination of Bangladeshi migrant workers and the biggest remittance-generating country for Bangladesh.

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