Biman folds its wings | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 28, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 28, 2020

Biman folds its wings

Suspends flights on all international routes

Biman Bangladesh Airlines yesterday decided that it will suspend flights on its two remaining routes to London and Manchester from March 30 till April 7, marking a temporary halt to all its flights, both international and domestic.

Biman Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mokabbir Hossain disclosed the decision.

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Biman will operate its next flights to London and Manchester on March 29 and fly back to Dhaka on March 30, he said.

After that, the suspension will be effective, he said, adding that they may extend the suspension, depending on the situation over the coronavirus outbreak.

The national flag carrier usually operates 14 flights a week to and from these destinations in the United Kingdom.

In the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, the national airliner has now stopped operations on all 17 international routes, said M Mohibul Haque, senior secretary, civil aviation and tourism ministry. With the new measure, Dhaka now have air communications only with China, Hong Kong and Bangkok, thanks to flight operations continued by airliners of those countries.

Earlier, Dhaka had suspended air communications with 10 countries with effect from March 22 until March 31 as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Passenger flights to and from Bangladesh with Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore and India will remain suspended, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said on March 21.

Biman previously stopped its flights on 15 out of 17 international routes on separate dates and for different periods, mainly because of restrictions of the respective countries amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, it extended the suspensions.

As per the decision, Biman's flight suspension to Jeddah, Madina, Riyad, Dammam, Kuwait, Doha, Muscat and Bangkok have been extended till April 5, Abu Dhabi till April 7, Dubai till April 9, Singapore till April 11, Kathmandu till April 12, Kuala Lumpur till April 14 and Kolkata and Delhi till April 15.

Last week, the national flag carrier also suspended its operations to all seven domestic routes for an indefinite period.

Biman incurred a loss of Tk 450 crore in the last one and a half months, Mokabbir Hossain told this newspaper on Thursday.

Meanwhile, private carrier US-Bangla Airlines will continue flight operations on Dhaka-Guangzhou route only on Sundays from March 29, the private carrier said yesterday.

Its flights to and from Doha, Kolkata and Chennai will remain suspended till April 15, Kuala Lumpur till April 14, Singapore till April 7, Muscat till April 29 and Bangkok till May 18.

Besides, its domestic operations will remain suspended till April 4.

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