Covid-19 pandemic grounded flights across the world, disrupting air communication and forcing the aviation industry to count unprecedented losses.
During this historic halt, global air transport industry will lose $84.3 billion in 2020 globally, according to a report of International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Some airlines operated special flights to carry stranded passengers and medical equipment during the pandemic, but the whole sector went into a forced retreat for over two months.
However, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has finally permitted Emirates Airlines to operate flights from Dhaka.
"Emirates will start operating three flights a week on Dubai-Dhaka-Dubai from June 21," CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshall Muhammad Mafidur Rahman told UNB.
Two more airlines have also sought permission to operate flights from Dhaka, he added.
Emirates will operate flights on Dhaka-Dubai route as UAE has imposed a ban on Bangladeshi passengers to enter the country but citizens of UAE can travel in the flights, he said.
He said Bangladeshi passengers are not permitted to enter UAE and Doha for the time being but they can enter any other countries by transit flights.
“We’ve already applied to the UAE Civil Aviation Authority to allow Bangladeshis enter,” said the CAAB chairman, adding that a letter was sent to Doha as well.
Qatar Airways started flight operations on international routes from Bangladesh on June 16.
A flight of Qatar Airways left Dhaka and another flight from Doha arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on early Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines has applied to operate flights from Bangladesh from July, said CAAB chairman adding that Dhaka would give permission as they can operate flights from Bangladesh according to their appeal.
Air Arabia also wants to operate flights with Bangladesh and permission will be given soon as discussion is going on in this regard, he added.
“As flight operations on international routes from Bangladesh resumed on a limited scale on July 16, we’ll consider allowing other airlines to operate flights if they seek permission,” the CAAB chairman told UNB.
CAAB sources said Emirates Airlines will operate flights from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, one flight each on Saturday, Monday and Thursday.
EK584 flight will come from Dubai to Dhaka on Saturday, Monday and Thursday while EK584 flight will leave Dhaka for Dubai on those respective days, sources said.
On the other hand flight operations on Dhaka-London-Dhaka will resume on June 21, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, managing director and CEO Mokabbir Hossain told UNB.
“A Biman flight will be operated once a week on Dhaka-London-Dhaka route from Sunday,” he added.
Biman is ready to operate flights on other international routes, he added.
On June 11, CAAB permitted Biman to operate flights on Dhaka-London-Dhaka and Qatar Airways to operate transit flights from June 16.
On June 1, Civil Aviation authority permitted operation of all domestic flights maintaining social distancing and following health guidelines.
Airlines to count $84bn loss
On June 9, the IATA released a financial outlook for the global air transport industry showing that airlines are expected to lose $84.3 billion this year.
Revenues will fall 50 percent to $419 billion from $838 billion in 2019, IATA says.
Also read: Flights on international routes resume
In 2021, losses are expected to be cut to $15.8 billion as revenues rise to $598 billion.
“Financially, 2020 will go down as the worst year in the history of aviation,” IATA said in its report.
On average, every day of this year will add $230 million to industry losses. In total that’s a loss of $84.3 billion, IATA said.
“Based on an estimate of 2.2 billion passengers this year — airlines will lose $37.54 per passenger,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.