The Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh on Tuesday demanded lowering the fare of all Middle East-bound flights.
At a press conference in Dhaka, the association raised a four-point demand including increasing the number of flights.
"Ticket prices on various routes in the Middle East till November 2021 were Tk40,000 to Tk45,000, but are now between Tk70,000 to Tk90,000. This is unreasonable and irrational. This is an impossible amount for migrants who are going to the country to work," said the association President Mansur Ahmed Kalam.
Other demands of the association include government measures to set airfares for migrants and forming a regulatory body to deter illogical airfare hikes.
With the same demands, the association sent a letter to the State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali on Sunday.
The association said the Saudi government has recently increased the work visa quota for Bangladeshis. In addition, visit visas and employment visas are being issued at a higher rate in favour of Bangladeshi expatriates going to the UAE. Due to this, the demand for air tickets from expatriate workers has increased.
In the letter, they mentioned that due to the increased demand, airlines have increased fares.
The ticket price, however, also saw a rise during the pandemic, with a slight fall in November this year. But now, it is again on a rising trend.
The airline authorities have linked a lower number of flights, travel restrictions, a poor number of return-ticket holders and thin movement of tourists, and obligation for maintaining standard operating procedures to an increase in their operating costs, eventually causing a hike in ticket prices.
The major airlines who are operating flights to Middle Eastern routes are Biman, US Bangla, Saudia, Emirates, flydubai, Etihad and Air Arabia.