A day before scheduled resumption of its flights on Dubai and Abu Dhabi routes from tomorrow, Biman Bangladesh Airlines has decided not to operate its regular flights to the two high-demand destinations.
Sources at the national flag carrier said Biman was forced to take the decision all of a sudden as the foreign ministry has asked Biman not to carry any passengers from Dubai to Bangladesh.
"As the government told us that we won't be able to take any passengers from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we have decided not to operate our flights on the two routes as carrying passengers only from Dhaka will cause huge loss for us. We are already in loss. We won't be able to afford further loss at this moment," a top official of Biman told this newspaper seeking anonymity.
The national airliner, however, decided to send those to Dubai and Abu Dhabi who have already bought Biman tickets through alternative measures, he said.
Biman's decision not to operate on Dubai and Abu Dhabi routes came as a major setback to huge number of Bangladeshis, especially migrant workers who were waiting to return to their workplaces in UAE.
According to Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh, several thousand Bangladeshi expatriate workers have remained stuck in the country for the last three months due to suspension of regular flight operations on international routes since middle of March.
Biman on July 1 announced to resume its flights on Dhaka-Dubai and Dhaka-Abu Dhabi routes from July 6 and July 7 respectively.
Sources at the national flag carrier said all tickets for the Dubai and Abu Dhabi routes were sold out till July 16.
"As they (passengers) have bought tickets from us, we are obligated to carry them to their desired destinations through alternative measures," another official of Biman said.
With the cancellations, Biman will now operate its international flight only on one route -- Dhaka-London, out of total 18 international destinations.
Earlier on Saturday, Biman said it has cancelled flight operations on all international routes till July 30 except for Dubai, Abu Dhabi and London due to global Covid-19 pandemic.
It has also suspended its flight operations on Kuala Lumpur and Singapore route till August 31.
Besides, all Manchester bound flights of the airlines have also been cancelled till July 30, said Biman.