Dhaka : Etihad Airways, one of the top five foreign airlines serving the country, has decided to wind up its activities in Bangladesh.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline, in a letter informed about their withdrawal from this market to its business partners and travel agents on June 6.
The letter said, the airline will not be offering direct flights to the Bangladesh capital after October 1.
This surprise move caught the passengers off guard. Over the last 12 years, the airline had become popular as it offered convenient connections, from Abu Dhabi, to passengers travelling onwards to its different destinations in US, Canada and Europe where a large number of non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) live.
Shamimul Islam Joy, Sales Manager Bangladesh, Etihad Airways said the airline's head office did not give any reason for this sudden decision.
For this the passengers will not have to suffer as Jet Airways will fly them to their destinations as the two airlines have a code share arrangement. If they want refund of tickets, they can do so without any charge, he said.
The airline said, due to cancellation of flights from to and from Dhaka, Etihad will provide several options to passengers who have booked tickets on or before June 6 for travel on or before October 1.
For partially used and fully unused tickets, rebooking, re-routing will be allowed with Etihad codeshare flights by Jet Airways through Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi.
Guest from point-to-point from Dhaka to Abu Dhabi will be rebooked with Bangladesh Biman Airlines (BG).
Changes of date would also be allowed without any surcharges who are booked beyond October 1 and wish to travel earlier.
Any date change fees, as well as fare difference arising from re-routing/re-booking has been waived for this one instance only. Re-routing and endorsement onto other airlines, other than mentioned in this policy is not permitted, the airline said.
Refund is permitted free of charges whether the tickets is wholly unused or partially utilised, as long as there are travel segments on or after October 1 which are impacted by the cancellation.
The airline said it will also stop all flights from Abu Dhabi to Perth and Edinburgh effective October 1, as part of "an ongoing review of its operations."
Announcing the suspensions to Dhaka, Perth and Edinburgh, the airlines said it will continue its relationship with travel agents partners and work closely with guests to avoid any inconvenience.
Earlier, Etihad Airways suspen-ded its Abu Dhabi-Dallas/Fort Worth flights on March 25 as it became "commercially unsustainable" following American Airlines' unilateral decision to terminate its code share agreement with the airline.