Bangladesh-India flights resume after 7 months
Flights between Bangladesh and India resumed on Wednesday under the air bubble arrangement after a lapse of more than seven months on coronavirus fears.
The flights resumed as a US-Bangla airlines regular commercial flight left Dhka Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at 9:45am for Kolkata.
Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami, Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman and US-Bangla Airlines CEO Capt Skikdar Meshba Uddin Ahmed saw off the Kolkata bound passengers at the airport.
"From the (Indian) High Commission we will do all to put our visa services back to the highest possible level," Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami said while inaugurating the air bubble between India and Bangladesh at the HSIA.
While addressing the event as chief guest he said India wants to ensure that more Bangladeshis who want to travel to India can do that.
At 10.30 am on the day another flight of the private airlines left Dhaka for Chennai.
National flag careers Bangladesh Biman Airlines will resume its flights to New Delhi flight from Thursday (today). Biman will also resume its flight to Kolkata and Chennai from November 1 and 15 respectively.
The US-Bangla Airlines will operate flight to Kolkata for six days a week except Monday and to Chennai for four days a week on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, airlines spokesperson said.
The Novoair, another local carrier, has taken preparation to reopen its Kolkata flight but the resumption date is yet to be decided, said the airlines official.
Under the air bubble mechanism, air connectivity was restored between only Bangladesh and India where no third country will be involved that means the airlines will not take any transit passengers.
Under the air bubble agreement, 28 flights from each country will fly every week.
India has already introduced such air bubble with numbers of countries like France, Germany, the UAE and Maldives whereas this is first in its kind for Bangladesh.
As per the air-bubble arrangement, three Bangladeshi airlines - Biman Bangladesh Airlines, US-Bangla Airlines, and Novo Air - will initially operate 28 flights a week while five Indian carriers - Air India, Vistara, IndiGo, SpiceJet, and GoAir - will run the same number of flights in a week.
According to the CAAB, five Indian airlines will operate flights on Delhi-Dhaka-Delhi, Kolkata-Dhaka-Kolkata, Chennai-Dhaka-Chennai and Mumbai-Dhaka-Mumbai routes.
On October 9, the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh announced resumption of online visa application services for Bangladeshi citizens.
For now, visas will be provided in nine categories including medical, business, employment, journalists, diplomatic, personal, officials, UN officials, and UN diplomats, said the Bangladesh foreign ministry.