Australians leave Dhaka, Bangladesh students return

Some 220 stranded Australians left Dhaka for Melbourne on Saturday by the same chartered flight that brought 157 Bangladeshi students back due to coronavirus pandemic.

The Bangladesh High Commission in Canberra earlier on Friday said Bangladeshi students left Melbourne for Dhaka in a chartered flight of Sri Lankan Airlines.

The flight landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) around 1 am on Saturday carrying 157 Bangladeshi citizens from Melbourne via Colombo.

The Australian High Commission in Dhaka on Saturday said in a statement said more 220 Australian citizens and their families left here for Melbourne by that Sri Lankan airlines aircraft early Saturday.

It further informed that the flight also carried eight New Zealand citizens and permanent resident on their way back to New Zealand.

“Together with 285 passengers who departed from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on April 16, over 500 have so far returned home in Australia,” read the Australian High Commission statement.

It said, for the second time in three weeks, the high commission helped Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families return to Australia.

Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Jeremy Bruer was present at the Airport to see them off.
On May 5, Bangladesh extended the ongoing ban on flight operation for the fifth consecutive term till May 16.

The government, however, facilitates return of Bangladesh citizens and departure of foreigners from Dhaka using chartered flights have also been planned to bring back Bangladesh nationals from the UK, the USA, India and Malaysia within a week.

The Bangladesh High Commission in Canberra said they facilitated the return of Bangladeshi citizens with support from authorities of Bangladesh and Australia and with active cooperation from the Victorian Bangladeshi Community Foundation (VBCF) and Melton Travel Center, said foreign ministry here.

All passengers were notified to carry up-to-date COVID symptom-free or COVID negative certificate issued within three days before departure, it said.