Air communication between Bangladesh and India resumes today after a seven-month suspension as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
However, India is yet to react to Bangladesh's proposal for resuming road and rail communications taking into consideration the majority of the country's persons use those two modes to travel to and from the neighbouring country, sources at the foreign ministry said.
"We have agreed with the Indian proposal to resume air communication [under an air bubble agreement] between your two countries. But we have also proposed that India open the street and rail links, as most of our people happen to be India through these modes," Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told The Daily Star recently.
"We've stressed on the resumption of road communication… However they are yet to give us any clear idea about it," he said.
According to Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation, India has generated an flights agreement with Bangladesh, effective from today. This agreement is valid till January 31.
So as to travel between your two countries, Covid-19 negative certificate is crucial within 72 hours before travel, said Kamrul Islam, general manager, pr, US-Bangla Airlines.
All passengers planing a trip to India will need to undergo mandatory home quarantine for a week, authorities said.
The categories of folks allowed on the flights are: Indian nationals; all Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports issued by Bangladesh; and Bangladesh nationals/residents (including diplomats), and foreigners (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in virtually any category covered beneath the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines.
On the first day of the resumption of air communication with India, US-Bangla Airlines, a leading private air operator of Bangladesh, will operate one flight each on the Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka and Dhaka-Chennai-Dhaka routes.
The Chennai flight will leave the Dhaka Airport at 10:30am while the Kolkata flight will leave at 9:45am, said Kamrul Islam.
US-Bangla Airlines will operate flights from Dhaka to Chennai via Chattogram and from Chennai to Dhaka via Chattogram every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
The national flag carrier, Biman Bangladesh Airlines will resume regular passenger flights to India from tomorrow.
Biman will operate flights on the Dhaka-Delhi-Dhaka route from October 29, Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka route from November 1 and Dhaka-Chennai-Dhaka route from November 15, said Tahera Khondoker, deputy general manager (pr) of Biman.
The resumption of air communication provides relief to many Bangladeshis, who are waiting to go to India for medical treatment.
Sources at the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh and the Association of TRAVEL COMPANIES of Bangladesh said around 20 lakh Bangladeshis visit India yearly by air and many of these go there for treatment.
Aside from Biman and US-Bangla, another Bangladeshi air operator, Novo Air, would initially operate 28 flights weekly while five Indian airlines -- Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Vistara and GoAir -- would operate 28 flights weekly between your two countries.
Secretary of Civil Aviation Ministry Mohibul Haque said India allows more than one attendant with each patient from Bangladesh to visit the country.
The Indian High Commission in Dhaka on October 9 said for the present time, visas will be issued under nine categories, including medical, business, employment, journalist, diplomatic, official, UN official and UN diplomatic.
India had stopped entry of most foreigners by halting visa approvals since March 12 following the Covid-19 outbreak around the world.
VISTARA, SPICEJET ANNOUNCE FLIGHTS TO BD
Indian air carrier Vistara yesterday announced it could launch flight services to Bangladesh from November 5 beneath the recently signed bilateral air bubble agreement, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
Vistara's announcement comes a day after budget carrier SpiceJet said it'll operate flights to Dhaka and Chattogram from India starting from November 5, using bilateral traffic rights under the air bubble pact.
Vistara, a Tata-Singapore Airlines jv, will operate special non-stop flights between Delhi and Dhaka from November 5, the airline said in a release.
SpiceJet had said it'll operate non-stop flights four times a week between Kolkata and Chattogram, besides connecting Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai with Dhaka.