BD urges OECD countries to operate charter flights

- A Monitor Desk Report 05 Apr, 2020 | 1050 Views|-+
Dhaka: Bangladesh has suggested members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to consider operating charter flights instead of regular flights in a move to prevent further spread of coronavirus.

"We’ve stopped flight operations considering the safety of our people as the imported virus initially infected people in the country," Dr AK Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh said in a statement on April 4, according to a news agency report.

He also said that Australia has suspended all regular flights to and from the country, however, they want Bangladesh flights to remain in operation.

No OECD member raised any question when Sri Lanka and India suspended all of their flights.

Bangladesh has suggested the British government to operate special charter flights to over coronavirus concerns.

The British citizens, anyone willing to go, can avail the second charter flight of the US government leaving Dhaka today. The US charter flight will go by Doha and the British citizens can go to the UK transiting from Doha.

The UK wants Bangladesh to operate flights on the Dhaka-London-Manchester-Sylhet routes. However, the government is yet to make a decision on the matter.

On March 29, the British government said it is monitoring the situation closely but does not have plans to operate repatriation flights from Dhaka.

British High Commission in Dhaka said they are working with the Bangladesh authorities and airlines to assist British nationals willing to return to the UK.

"We’ve been told that flights will resume on April 7 and we are monitoring this closely," said the High Commission in its latest travel advisory on April 4.

The British government is "prioritising repatriation flights" in countries where very large numbers of British nationals are left stranded, where there have been no commercial options available for some time, and where no further flights are scheduled for the foreseeable future, the latest travel advisory reads.

The US Department of State and US Embassy in Dhaka have arranged second special charter flights for the US nationals and their families. The flight will leave Dhaka Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport today.

It will include a Dhaka to Doha, Qatar leg and an onward connecting flight to Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC.

Passengers will remain on the airplane in Doha. This flight is not free and all passengers will need to reimburse the US government for the cost of the flight, said the US Embassy in Dhaka.

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