A Saudia Airlines flight, carrying about 252 expatriates, has left Dhaka for Riyadh after a long suspension of flights amid Covid-19 pandemic.
The flight departed from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka on Tuesday midnight, reports Somoy TV.
The validity of many stranded expats' visas will end on September 30 that resulted into a demonstration by the stranded workers in the capital for the past few days demanding air tickets to go back to work before their visas expire.
Amid the protest, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) on September 22 reinstated its previous decision to allow Saudia Airlines to operate scheduled flights to and from Dhaka from September 23.
Saudia got permission to operate as many flights as required to clear the huge backlog of expatriates stranded in Bangladesh, before their iqamas or visas expire on September 30.
The news came as a relief for the Bangladeshi migrant workers, who got stuck after returning to the country in the wake of a worldwide coronavirus outbreak.
Around 80% of the stranded migrants work in Saudi Arabia. With the resumption of flights, they are now hopeful about their return.
Besides, the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia has also given permission to Biman Bangladesh Airlines to operate flights to Saudi Arabia from October 1.
A source in the CAAB said, "Biman Bangladesh Airlines has received permission to operate eight weekly flights to three cities - Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam and awaiting for landing clearances, after which they will be able to start selling tickets for those routes."
Meanwhile, Bangladesh government has urged the Saudi Arabian government to extend the validity of iqama and re-entry visas by three months, so that the stranded Bangladeshi migrant workers can return to the gulf nation.