Migrants spend extra money, time for travel

Bangladeshi migrant workers who've gotten stuck following restrictions suddenly slapped on international flights are struggling to reach Dhaka from their home and are waiting for up to days to get return tickets with their workplaces in five countries.

Talking to MODERN numerous passengers said that they were paying 10 to 50 times greater than the most common transport costs and extra hotel bills to attain and stay static in Dhaka to accumulate their tickets.

Abul Kalam Bashani from Paikgacha in Khunla said that he usually spent Tk 500-700 for his happen to be Dhaka but he previously to spend Tk 3,500 amid risks this time as there is absolutely no direct transportation as a result of embargo.

Sitting in Karwanzar area on Monday afternoon, he said that he had reached Dhaka on Sunday and visited the Saudia airlines office for his ticket for the flight scheduled for Tuesday night.

‘But the airlines said that my flight have been cancelled and I must accumulate a serial coupon to have a fresh ticket,’ he said, adding that he had not been sure when he'd be getting it.

Md Rashidul Islam reached Dhaka from bordering Chapainawabganj on Monday after his original flight was cancelled on April 16.

He said that he spent Tk 13,000 for his overnight travel to Dhaka but now was uncertain when he could get his ticket.

Zahidul Abedin, a manager for sales and reservation at Saudia, said that they had a backlog of at least 2,800 tickets because of the flight suspension since April 15.

He said that they were now providing coupons to the passengers to accumulate their ticket on specified time.

Meanwhile, several hundred migrant staff gathered before Biman’s Motijheel office in the administrative centre for the third consecutive day to accumulate their return tickets reissued for the journey back again to their workplaces in several countries.

The federal government suspended from April 14 the operation of all international passenger flights to and from Bangladesh for a week to support the spread of Covid-19.

The government on April 15 allowed airlines to use flights on five destinations - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Singapore.

Meanwhile, the ongoing suspension of the international flights to and from Bangladesh has been extended for another week, following government’s decision to increase the strict restriction amid a spike in Covid infections and deaths.

According to an estimate of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies and Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh, about 20,000 aspiring migrant personnel have to catch their due flights in the week beginning with April 14.

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