Flight operations between Bangladesh and India is likely to be resumed on September 3 under the air bubble agreement signed last year to facilitate movements of passengers and goods between the two neighbouring countries.
Under the bilateral air bubble pact, airlines of both the countries can operate international flights with certain restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The air bubble may be resumed w.e.f (with effect from) 03.09.21 till resumption of scheduled international passenger flights,” according to a letter issued by the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation on Saturday.
The operation under the Air Bubble would be resumed with 7 frequencies per week (for carriers of either country) when Indian carriers will operate 7 flights in a week between the two countries.
Among those, Spice Jet will operate three flights per week on Delhi/Kolkata/Chennai/Mumbai-Dhaka route while Indigo will operate two flights in different points of India-Dhaka and Air India will operate two flights in between Kolkata-Dhaka in a week.
The passengers have to strictly follow Covid-19 protocol while traveling both the countries to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
“Passengers travelling from Bangladesh to India shall be mandatorily subjected to self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on arrival at the Indian airports concerned,” the letter said.
The passengers holding tourist visas will not to be allowed to enter India as on date.
The Civil Aviation Ministry of India issued the letter is in response to a letter sent by Bangladesh authority on August 11 seeking India’s approval for resumption of the flight operations between the two countries under the air bubble agreement.
In its letter, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) to its Indian counterpart 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-Kolkata/ 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.
Earlier, the Indian Visa Application Centres (IVAC) in Bangladesh has resumed operations from August 10.
According to a statement of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka recently, the 15 IVAC across Bangladesh will accept all applications excepting tourist visa application.
Media 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 include 2.8 million Bangladeshis, reports added.