Bangladesh-India: Airlines operate flights from tomorrow
Biman and US-Bangla airlines will resume flight operations to India under an air bubble agreement between Bangladesh and India from tomorrow after a four-month hiatus over coronavirus restrictions.
US-Bangla Airlines resume flight operations on Dhaka-Chennai-Dhaka route and Biman Bangladesh Airlines on Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka and Dhaka-Delhi-Dhaka routes from tomorrow.
Novoair said they will not operate flights under the air bubble agreement.
An air bubble arrangement is a temporary arrangement between two countries aimed at resuming air travelling while regular international flights are suspended due to coronavirus restrictions. Airline companies from both countries get the opportunity.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) on September 2 accepted the proposal of the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation on the resumption of flights from today.
CAAB issued a circular Thursday night clearing the way for the resumption of flight operations between the two countries.
The CAAB circular said the air bubble agreement will be in effect until the resumption of scheduled international passenger flights between the two countries.
Travellers from India must be in quarantine at home for 14 days and follow the other protocols, including getting tested for coronavirus from a PCR lab.
Besides, 10 percent of the seats in the planes have to be left empty.
CAAB also proposed including "Passengers with Business Visa" to facilitate airlines crew members to travel to India for simulator training.
CAAB primarily accepted India's proposal to operate seven flights a week to India by Bangladeshi airline companies, but proposed to double the number.
According to the circular, Biman will operate two weekly flights each on Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka and Dhaka-Delhi-Dhaka routes while US-Bangla Airlines will operate three weekly flights on Dhaka-Chennai-Dhaka route.
US-Bangla Airlines in a press release yesterday said as per Indian Civil Aviation guidelines, travellers must test negative for Covid-19 in a PCR test done no earlier than 72 hours of traveling. The travelers will have to go through molecular tests at their own expenses after arriving in Chennai airport.
Individuals with tourist visas will currently not be allowed to visit India, it said.
Flights of US-Bangla Airlines will leave Dhaka for Chennai every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:30am and will reach Chennai at 12:40pm (local time).
The US-Bangla flights will leave Chennai for Dhaka at 1:30pm.
Talking to The Daily Star, Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal, managing director and CEO of Biman, said the national flag carrier will operate two weekly flights on Dhaka-Kolkta-Dhaka route and two weekly flights on Dhaka-Delhi-Dhaka route.
On August 28, Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation in a circular said flight operations between the two countries may resume from September 3 under the air bubble agreement.
With rising demands in Bangladesh to resume flight operations, CAAB on August 4 sent a letter to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India seeking its approval for resumption of the flight operations from August 11 under the air bubble agreement as infections in both countries decreased significantly.
In response, the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating that it may resume the arrangement from September 3.
Three Indian airline companies will operate three SpiceJet flights, two Indigo flights and two Air India flights each week. The flights will operate from Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.