Dhaka: Biman Bangladesh Airlines earlier announced to operate flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi from July 6 and 7 respectively. However, a day before scheduled resumption of its flights on the routes, the carrier suddenly decided not to operate its services to the UAE destinations.
Biman was forced to take the decision all of a sudden as the foreign ministry has asked the airline not to carry any passenger from Dubai to Bangladesh, according to sources at the flag carrier.
"As the government told us that we won't be able to take any passengers from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we have decided not to operate our flights on the two routes as carrying passengers only from Dhaka will cause huge loss for us. We are already in loss. We won't be able to afford further loss at this moment," an anonymous Biman official said.
The national airline, however, decided to send those to Dubai and Abu Dhabi who have already bought Biman tickets through alternative measures, he added.
Biman's decision not to operate on Dubai and Abu Dhabi routes came as a major setback to huge number of Bangladeshis, especially migrant workers who were waiting to return to their workplaces in UAE.
According to Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh, several thousand Bangladeshi expatriate workers have remained stuck in the country for the last three months due to suspension of regular flight operations on international routes since middle of March.
Sources at the national flag carrier said all tickets for the Dubai and Abu Dhabi routes were sold out till July 16.
"As they (passengers) have bought tickets from us, we are obligated to carry them to their desired destinations through alternative measures," another official of Biman said.
With the cancellations, Biman is now operating international flights only on one route -- Dhaka-London -- out of total 18 international destinations in its network.