Sources close to the development told BSS Monday that the operation of flights in various destinations of both the countries may resume by 18 August as the Indian authority hinted to give its consent to this end at any day after the India’s Independence Day celebration on 15 August.
Earlier, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has sent a letter to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India seeking its approval for resumption of the flight operations from 11 August under the air bubble agreement.
“In view of urgency of movement of the people of both the neighbouring countries, the ongoing Covid-9 pandemic situations of Bangladesh and India were reviewed and evaluated…it feels that such operations should be continued until the resumption of scheduled passenger flights…,” the letter read.
The CAAB letter said that the passengers to and from Bangladesh and India have to strictly follow some Covid-19 protocol to contain spread of the deadly virus.
Sources from Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Bangladesh mission in New Delhi said that they are expecting that the flights between Bangladesh and India to be resumed by the next two days (17-18 August).
In the letter, CAAB proposed 21 flights per week for the operators of both the countries for this time being.
Under this proposal, Biman Bangladesh Airlines will operate nine flights in Dhaka-Kolkata/Chennai/Delhi-Dhaka routes while two flights in Chattogram-Kolkatathe/ Chennai/ Delhi-Chattogram.
US Bangla airlines will operate seven flights in Dhaka-Kolkata/Chennai/Delhi-Dhaka and Novo Air to operate one flight in Dhaka-Kolkata/Chennai/Delhi-Dhaka routes.
In another development, the Indian Visa Application Centres (IVAC) in Bangladesh have resumed operations from August 10 in the wake of lifting of countrywide lockdown in both the countries.
The 15 IVAC across Bangladesh will accept all applications excepting tourist visa application, a statement of Indian High Commission in Dhaka said.
Earlier, the Indian high commission in Bangladesh has temporarily suspended the operations at all its visa centres across Bangladesh due to lockdown implemented by Bangladesh government from 14 April.
Reports said more than 3,500 Bangladeshis travel to India daily on an average basis and of them over 10 percent used to travel on medical purposes.
Out of the foreigners who visit India for medical purposes, 45 percent are from Bangladesh, according to the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
More than 13.7 million foreigners took treatment in India between January 2018 and March 2019. They included 2.8 million Bangladeshis, the report added.