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Chartered flights likely for expats’ return to ME

Published : 05 Jan 2022 10:47 PM

The authorities concerned are likely to arrange chartered flights for the wellbeing of the country’s expatriate workers to return to their respective Middle East workplaces. 

If the foreign airliners immediately do not reduce airfare towards Middle Eastern countries, they are likely to come under punishment as per the announcement of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), said CAAB sources. 

Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry secretary Md. Mokammel Hossain said, “We have planned to introduce Biman’s special flights at reduced airfares towards Middle East destinations.”  

CAAB Chairman Air vice Marshal M Mofidur Rahman earlier said, “We have already held talks with all the airlines and asked for an explanation from them. We have asked them to show proper reasons why air fares to Middle East countries have increased beyond imagination. If they fail to show proper reason, we will reduce their flight slots. In the vacant slots we will operate chartered flights.”   

Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) president Monsur Ahmed Kalam while talking to Bangladesh Post said, “All aircraft operators must be held accountable over why they have increased airfare towards ME endpoints. Strict action against them can stop such unwanted price hikes in the days to come.” 

On the other hand, Biman Bangladesh Airlines on Tuesday in a statement informed of a reduction in ticket prices on five routes in the Middle East marking its 50th anniversary. The new fares would be effective from January 16 on the purchase of new tickets on the Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Dubai and Abu Dhabi routes, subject to vacancies. However, the lower level of rent will continue as always. 

In the countries of the Middle East where the Bangladeshi labor market exists, only those countries are experiencing the scarcity of air tickets and the unusual increase in fares. The airlines are arbitrarily imposing extra fares on expatriates. Air fares from Bangladesh to Middle Eastern countries are several times higher than those in neighboring countries Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. 

Helpless expatriate workers are being oppressed in this way. At the same time, the country is facing severe economic losses.