Bangladeshis stranded in Australia to return home tonight
May 08, 2020, 09:37 PM
by UNB NEWS
Publish- May 08, 2020, 09:37 PM
Update- May 08, 2020, 09:47 PM
The Bangladeshis are expected to arrive at the Dhaka airport early Saturday. File photo
A total of 157 Bangladeshi citizens, who were stranded in Australia amid an air travel ban because of the coronavirus outbreak, have departed Melbourne for Dhaka on a special Sri Lankan Airlines flight on Friday afternoon.
The flight is scheduled to land at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 00:40 hrs (local time) on Saturday, after a stopover at Colombo, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.
Bangladesh High Commission in Canberra facilitated the return with support from authorities of Bangladesh and Australia and with active cooperation from the Victorian Bangladeshi Community Foundation (VBCF) and Melton Travel Center who were assigned to coordinate with intending passengers and manage funds and ticketing tasks, the Foreign Ministry said.
At its “needs assessment” template on its website, the High Commission received requests of 340 Bangladesh origin persons in Australia who expressed willingness to return to Bangladesh.
Based on this estimate of 300 plus stranded Bangladeshis seeking to return, the High Commission secured in principle approval of Bangladesh authorities to accept special non-scheduled flight from Australia and tried to charter a flight from Sydney to Dhaka.
Drastic reduction in demand from the stranded Bangladeshis compelled the High Commission to charter Sri Lankan Airlines to operate this flight from Melbourne.
All passengers were notified to carry up-to-date COVID symptom-free or COVID negative certificate issued within three days before departure.
Bangladesh High Commission thanked VBCF, Melton Travel Center, Bangladesh Consulate General in Sydney as well as Sri Lankan Airlines for operating the non-scheduled flight.