Stranded Migrants: Lucky ones get to go to work abroad | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 19, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:40 AM, April 19, 2021

Stranded Migrants: Lucky ones get to go to work abroad

Seven of 12 special flights depart

Seven out of 12 scheduled special flights left the Dhaka airport as of 9:00pm yesterday.

Of the seven flights, Biman Bangladesh Airlines operated two flights, one each on Dammam and Riyadh route; Oman Air operated one flight to Muscat; US-Bangla Airlines operated three flights, one each to Doha, Dubai, and Muscat; and Emirates operated one flight to Dubai, Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan, director, Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), told The Daily Star.

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Amid the nationwide lockdown that has been imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, around 1,600 expatriate workers remained stuck and could not return to their workplaces in Saudi Arabia, Muscat, Dubai, and Doha on these flights, sources at the HSIA said.

Director, HSIA, said there was no report so far about the cancellation of any of the 12 special flights scheduled to fly yesterday from Dhaka.

Meanwhile, several hundred migrant workers also gathered in front of the Biman's Motihjeel office in the capital and Saudi Arabian Airlines' office at the city's Hotel Sonargaon yesterday for the second consecutive days to re-issue their return tickets to their workplaces in different countries.

Talking to The Daily Star, in front of Saudia, several migrant workers told this correspondent that their visas would be expired within the next three to four days if they fail to go to their workplaces in Saudi Arabia.

Due to the chaotic situation, among the several hundred expatriate workers in front of Biman's Motijheel office, a migrant worker suffered a serious injury in his chest and face as he fell on a glass door at the entrance of the office building.

He was rushed to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Staging demonstrations in front of the Biman office, many passengers said they had to face untold sufferings and had to spend a huge amount of money to reach Dhaka from different districts amid the countrywide "strict lockdown".

"But after reaching here, we are not getting information from the Biman officials when we will be able to re-issue our return ticket," Tajuddin Ahmed, a migrant worker hailed from Kanaighat, Sylhet, told The Daily Star.

Aminuddin, another Saudi-bound migrant worker, said he would be put in serious problems if he fails to go to Saudi Arabia by April 21, the deadline for his visa expiry.

The return of several thousand Bangladeshi expatriate workers to their workplaces abroad, particularly in Saudi Arabia, suffered a major blow on Saturday due to the cancellation of eight flights from Dhaka.

The government on April 14 suspended the operation of all international passenger flights to and from Bangladesh for a week to contain the spread of Covid-19.

However, the authorities the following day decided to operate at least 100 special flights to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, and Singapore in a week from Saturday so that several thousand migrant workers can return to work.



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