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Saudia to operate over 50 flights to Bangladesh this month

Saudi Arabian Airlines will operate 50 to 60 flights between Dhaka and Saudi Arabia this month in a bid to fly more workers waiting to return to the kingdom.

Of the flights, around 40 will be pre-scheduled and the rest will be chartered.

Officials are hoping to fly around 22,000 workers to Saudi Arabia on those flights, said Tarik A. Alawaidi, country manager for Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Nepal of Saudi Arabian Airlines.

At least 55,000 Bangladeshi workers have been stranded since March 16 due to the suspension of regular flights due to the pandemic.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines has permission to operate nine chartered flights a week to three cities in Saudi Arabia. The Bangladesh government has said it will allow the Saudis to operate as many flights as it wants.

Alawaidi said they are operating 10 weekly flights on average and every day they are trying to increase the number of special flights to carry more passengers.

“We are likely to operate 50 to 60 flights including scheduled and special ones in October,” he added.

“We are doing our best and I am sure you are aware of this. Our ticket-selling office is open even on Friday and Saturday until late hours.

“We are hopeful of carrying all the passengers to Saudi Arabia if they have visas. We are giving priority to the Bangladeshis who have a valid visa and return ticket.”

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