Dhaka : Ready to bail out Bangladesh by flying its 150,000-plus foreign-based workers to their destinations, international airlines are pressing for a permanent open sky policy.
The response to the government’s three-month open sky policy has been “poor”, as the airlines, mostly budget operators from the Gulf and Southeast Asia, find it difficult to lease or charter the required aircraft for short periods.
Talking to The Daily Star, officials of Etihad Airways, Emirates, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Air Arabia, Malaysian Airlines and local GMG Airlines said they preferred a permanent open sky policy.
The officials said they are not able to operate more flights from Bangladesh only for three months, as they cannot cancel flights that are scheduled to operate on different routes during the period.
The country’s national carrier, Biman, still in the throes of transformation after being converted into a public ltd corp, Bangladesh has a problem on hand flying to work thousands of people who had come home for the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.
With difficulties over flights and ticketing, many workers complained that they could lose their jobs if they did not report back on time.