Biman To Operate Special Flight For Malaysian Expatriate Workers

Desk Report

Published: 31 May 2024, 03:08 pm

A plane of Bangladesh Biman Airlines || Photo: Collected

A plane of Bangladesh Biman Airlines || Photo: Collected

´╗┐Bangladesh Biman Airlines has decided to operate a special additional flight on the Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur route in consideration of the Malaysian expatriate workers, based on the letter from the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment. However, despite 271 workers going to Malaysia on this special flight, 31,403 workers will remain stranded with uncertain prospects.

The flight is scheduled to depart from Dhaka at 7:15 PM today (May 31). The airline's manager of communications, Md. Al Masud Khan, confirmed this information.

He stated that Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) would provide the necessary documents, including a list of passengers with passport numbers, to purchase tickets at the airline's sales office. Expatriates will be able to purchase tickets for the special flight in cash. The fare for the special additional flight has been set at BDT 73,616 per person.

Moreover, workers traveling on visas to Malaysia are facing a deadline on Friday night. Despite obtaining visas and approvals, 31,701 workers from Bangladesh face uncertainty in reaching Malaysia due to the inability to obtain air tickets within the given timeframe. According to the announcement made by Malaysia in March, no new foreign workers will be allowed to enter the country after May 31.

Regarding this issue, Saikat Chandra Haldar, a communication officer at the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, mentioned that there is currently no possibility of extending the deadline. However, efforts are ongoing, and discussions will be held at the ministry regarding the remaining workers after the arrival of those who manage to catch the flight.

He further added that this issue is not unique to Bangladesh, as 14 other countries are facing similar problems. Efforts have been made to send the majority of our workers. Even though there is no extension of time, discussions with Malaysia on this matter continue unabated.

On the other hand, the Bureau of Manpower, Employment, and Training (BMET) reports that until May 21, the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare has approved 523,834 workers to go to Malaysia. After May 21, although there has been no further approval, the ministry has allowed an additional 1,112 workers to go abroad. Thus, by Thursday (May 30), a total of 524,946 workers were approved to go to Malaysia. Among them, 491,745 workers have already left for Malaysia.

Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport reports that only 1,500 workers from Bangladesh will be able to go to Malaysia on Friday. With 271 workers taking the special flight on Friday evening, the number will stand at 1,771. Therefore, the approved travel of 31,403 workers is being canceled.

Editor & Publisher: Eliash Uddin Palash

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