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Biman gets permission to resume flights to Saudi Arabia from Oct 1

Biman Bangladesh Airlines finally got permission from Saudi Arabia to resume commercial flights to the kingdom from October 1.

The resumption of air communications will bring much relief to thousands of Bangladeshi migrant workers, many of whom got stranded at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Saudi Arabia is home to more than 22 lakh Bangladeshis.

The kingdom is also the prime destination of Bangladeshi migrant workers and the biggest remittance-generating country for Bangladesh.

Many Bangladeshi expatriates came to the country on vacation from Saudi Arabia before the closure of flights due to the pandemic.

They remained stranded as only few chartered and specially arranged flights operated between the two countries after the closure of the air communication.

Before the pandemic halted labour recruitment process, some 1.81 lakh Bangladeshis had new overseas employment between January and March this year.

Of them, 1.33 lakh were employed in Saudi Arabia, said data of Bureau of Manpower, Employment, and Training.

Saudi Arabia resumed international flight operations on September 15. The move was aimed at reviving the Gulf country’s economy, according to media reports.

Biman, in a release yesterday, said landing permission (in Saudi Arabia) is required before starting seat allocation. But Biman was yet to receive landing permission from the Saudi authorities, it also said.

“The flight schedule will be announced as soon as the landing permission is received. The information will be provided to all concerned including the passengers,” it said.

Biman authorities requested the passengers not to crowd unnecessarily at the Biman ticket sales counter before the announcement of the flight schedule.

Seats will be allocated only to the passengers who have tickets to go to Saudi Arabia. For the time being, new tickets will not be sold. Detailed information on seat allocation will be available on Biman’s website today.

Saudi Arabian Airlines is scheduled to resume its flights from Dhaka from September 23, said an official of the airlines.

At present, 13 airlines, including 11 foreign carriers, are operating 46 weekly flights to seven countries from Bangladesh, said sources.

International flights resumed in Saudi Arabia on September 15 following the decision of the Saudi authorities to exempt certain categories of Saudis and expatriates from the temporary travel ban imposed since March as part of precautionary measures to stem the spread of coronavirus, reported Saudi Gazette.

In a circular sent to travel agencies and airline companies in the kingdom on September 15, the General Authority of Civil Aviation informed that the airlines are permitted to transport GCC citizens as well as non-Saudi passengers holding a valid visa, including exit and re-entry, residency permit (iqama), and visit visas to and from the Kingdom, said the report.

Reference