A total of 243 Bangladesh citizens stranded in the USA amid coronavirus pandemic returned here by a special chartered flight from Washington DC early this morning.
A chartered aircraft of Qatar Airways landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) from Washington DC via Doha at 3:15 am this morning, HSIA director group captain Touhid-ul Ahsan told media here.
The returnees include mostly Bangladeshi students studying in different colleges and universities in the USA, Bangladesh citizens who went to America on tourist and business visa and some government and non-government officials, press release issued by Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC said here earlier.
The passengers also include 49 school and college students who came to the USA under Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) program, it added.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin saw off the passengers and wished their safe flight before they departed from the USA, the release said, adding that the chartered A 350-900 airbus of Qatar Airways had taken off at 11:04 pm on Friday night (US local time) from Dulles International Airport in Washington DC.
All traveling passengers got Covid-19 symptom-free medical certificates while the embassy helped those passengers who could not arrange the medical certificates in cooperation with a pool of Bangladeshi doctors in the USA.
On May 4, the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs chartered the flight in coordination with the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC and the two Consulates General in New York and Los Angeles to bring back Bangladeshis who opted to go back home amid the flight suspension.
On Thursday, Bangladesh extended the ongoing ban on flight operation for the sixth consecutive time till May 30 to and from all European countries and the nations that restricted the entry of Bangladeshis to their territories as well as on all domestic routes over the coronavirus fear.
The government so far repatriated stranded Bangladeshis from different other countries including India, the UK, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Maldives.
Other countries, including the USA, India, Japan, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Bhutan, Myanmar and different European countries also operated several special chartered flights amid the flight suspension to repatriate their citizens from here.