Resumption of flights with India: Airlines given no directives yet
Despite the foreign minister saying that flight operations with India will resume from August 20, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, US-Bangla and Novoair officials said they are yet to get any directives from Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (Caab) about the resumption.
A senior official of Caab told The Daily Star today, a day before the resumption of flights according to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, that they are yet to get any formal reply from their Indian counterparts about resuming flights with Bangladesh.
Amid this situation, several hundred Bangladeshis -- most of whom went to India for medical purposes -- remained uncertain about their return home.
The situation is the same for the Bangladeshis who have long been waiting to go to India for treatment.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on August 17 said flight operations between Bangladesh and India would resume on August 20.
He said India had agreed to resume operations based on a request made by Bangladesh and considering the demands to facilitate the movement of passengers and goods.
Caab on August 4 sent a letter to India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) seeking its approval for resumption of flight operations from August 11 under the air bubble agreement.
"But we are yet to get any reply from our Indian counterpart about the letter. That's why it's hard for us to say right now whether flights between the two countries will resume from tomorrow [Friday]," Group Captain Chy M Zia Ul Kabir, member (Flight Standard & Regulations), Caab, told The Daily Star.
In the meantime, Biman on Wednesday formally announced flights to Kolkata and Delhi from August 22.
Read More: Biman to resume flights to India from August 22 (https://www.thedailystar.net/nrb/departure-arrival/travel-advisory/news/...)
Asked, Zia Ul Kabir said he is not aware of the development.
Biman Managing Director and CEO Dr Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal told this correspondent that they are yet to get any directions from Caab to resume flights with India.
Asked about Biman's announcement of resuming flights to India from August 22, he said, "Like other airlines of the country, we have announced this as part of our preparations to operate flights."
Kamrul Islam, general manager, public relations, US-Bangla Airlines, said although they are all sent to resume flights with India, they are yet to get any direction from Caab in this regard.
He said potential passengers will have to complete various formalities, including getting tested for Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the flight.
"We are yet to get any such clear instruction from the Caab," he added.
Sources in India said the neighbouring country might give consent to resume flights with Bangladesh from next week.
Initially, flights will resume between Dhaka-Kolkata and Dhaka-Delhi, the sources said.