Coronavirus: Biman suspends 14 flights on 7 domestic routes

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The national flag carrier has also cancelled international flights with UAE and Singapore

The Biman Bangladesh Airlines has suspended 14 flights on seven domestic routes till the end of March as a precaution, in face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic around the world.

Biman Managing Director and CEO Md Mokabbir Hossain confirmed the matter on Thursday.

The suspended flights are between Dhaka and Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Barisal, Jessore, Saidpur, Rajshahi and Sylhet.

People who purchased tickets for these suspended flights will receive refunds, the Biman chief further said.

On the same day, the national flag career also suspended international flights with the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, in line with the travel bans imposed in those countries.

The Biman flights with Dubai and Abu Dhabi will remain suspended till March 31. The flights with Singapore will be suspended from March 21 to April 3, the Biman CEO said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Biman suspended flight operations with Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On Monday, the national flag carrier suspended flights with Oman.

Fight operations with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have also been suspended as safety concerns regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic continue to rise.

On March 14, the government prohibited all incoming flights from Europe, except the United Kingdom, till March 31. On Thursday, the government barred all incoming flights from the UK and Turkey as well.

Meanwhile, Thailand-based airline Thai Lion has suspended its Dhaka-Bangkok-Dhaka flights from March 20 to April 30.

The Turkish Airlines has cancelled its Dhaka-Istanbul-Dhaka flights on March 22, 24, 26, 29, and 31, and April 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14 and 16.

Originated in China’s Wuhan city in late December 2019, the Covid-19 infection, caused by a new strain of coronavirus, has become a global pandemic, affecting 176 countries and territories.

According to the Coronavirus Resource Center of Johns Hopkins University, as of 9pm, Bangladesh time, on March 19, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection around the world stands at 227,310, and the death toll is 9,311.