A special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, arranged by the Bangladesh government at the initiative of Bangladesh High Commission, London, departed Heathrow for Dhaka 10:30am local time, carrying 153 Bangladeshis.
They have been stranded in the United Kingdom due to the suspension of international flights between Dhaka and London in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The flight will land at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 00:30 am BST on Sunday, said a statement from the Bangladesh High Commission in London. This is the second repatriation flight from the UK since flights were suspended amid the pandemic.
The first repatriation flight was arranged on May 10, when over 100 stranded Bangladeshi citizens flew back to the country.
Today, High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem saw off the returning passengers at the Heathrow Airport. She expressed her deepest gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for this special flight.
"The Hon'ble Prime Minister has instructed all Bangladeshi missions abroad to take necessary steps for the safe repatriation of Bangladesh nationals stranded in different countries amid the coronavirus pandemic -- accordingly, Bangladesh High Commission, London arranged two repatriation flights for safe return of Bangladeshi nationals from the UK," she said.
Tasneem thanked the foreign ministry and Biman Bangladesh Airlines for their support in arranging the repatriation flight. She also thanked the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK Home Office, UK Border Agency and London Heathrow Airport Authorities for their tremendous support in ensuring the safe return of the stranded Bangladeshis, mostly students from Bangladesh.
The High Commission will organise a "Mujib Borsho Consular and Welfare Fortnight" in July 2020 to provide people with better and faster consular and welfare services and bilateral trade and business advice by maintaining the health and safety advice for Covid-19.
Details of the programme will be announced in due course through media, the High Commission's website and Facebook page.