Five special flights including one from Bangladesh Air Force operated to and from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), bringing back 259 Bangladeshis and taking away 719 foreigners from here, on April 21 amid the ongoing flight suspension due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the Bangladeshi nationals, 169 arrived here from India, 70 from the Maldives and 20 from Turkey while 301 US citizens, 264 Britons and 154 Turkish nationals left here for their respective countries by separate chartered flights.
The second batch of Bangladeshi nationals who have been stranded in India arrived here from Chennai by a chartered flight of US-Bangla airlines, facilitated by the government in coordination with Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
"Our special flight operated by Boeing 737-800 ER aircraft arrived at HSIA at 3:05 pm from Chennai carrying 164 adults and five infants," General Manager of the airline Kamrul Islam told BSS.
He said the stranded passengers bore the cost of their own tickets for the flight while the airline would operate an identical chartered flight from Chennai tomorrow at the same schedule to bring back 164 more Bangladeshi citizens.
Meanwhile, the government today decided to operate another special flight from New Delhi on Friday by Biman Bangladesh Airlines for bringing back Bangladeshis who have been stranded in Indian capital due to outbreak of the killer bugs.
A total of 70 Bangladeshis were brought back from the Maldives by a C-130J transport aircraft of Bangladesh Air Force at 5:25pm here, HSIA Director Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan told media.
Earlier, 20 Bangladeshi citizens returned from Turkey by a Turkish Airlines chartered flight that took back 154 Turkish citizens who were stranded here due to COVID-19 pandemic.
A chartered aircraft of Turkish Airlines left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) for Ankara at 1:23pm with 154 Turkish citizens on board, Ahsan said.
Later, the first batch of 264 stranded British nationals left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) here by a special chartered flight of British Airways.
"The British Airways flight took off from HSIA at 4:05 pm for London carrying 254 adults and 10 infants," HSIA director confirmed the media.
The UK government has arranged another three identical chartered flights of British Airways on April 23, 25 and 26 to take back its citizens, mostly expatriate Bangladeshis residing in the UK, from Dhaka with accompanying transfers from Sylhet.
A total of 301 US citizens left here after midnight as the US government arranged the fourth chartered flight for those who opted to go back home on their personal choice amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
An Omani Air aircraft left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) with 301 US citizens at 12:52am tonight, Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB) spokesperson told media.
The flight carrying the US citizens, mostly expatriate Bangladeshis residing in the USA permanently, will reach at Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C. via Kadena Air Base, Japan and Anchorage, Alaska.
On April 11, Bangladesh extended ongoing ban on flight operation till April 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.
Earlier, citizens of Canada, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Bhutan and different European countries also left here by their personal choice through chartered flights amid outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.
As per the government's recent decision, after arriving here, all returnee Bangladeshis must undergo a medical checkup at the airport and will be sent to 14-day institutional quarantine under management of the Armed Forces Division (AFD).