Authorities are continuing talks with concerned airlines to reduce airfares to Middle East countries, but positive feedback is still to come to minimize expatriate woes.
According to civil aviation and tourism ministry information, as per the directives of the ministry the officials concerned are holding talks with airline companies. They have explained their situation. But more clarifications have been sought.
While talking to Bangladesh Post, Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) president Monsur Ahmed Kalam said, “We have written to different government and private organizations regarding high air fares to Middle Eastern Countries. But still the result is the same. However, now our highest authority should sit with airliners to know what the main cause behind the air fare hike is.”
However, he also urged the officials concerned to take necessary steps to increase flight schedules from other international airports of the country.
Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) President & Governing Body Member of Bangladesh Tourism Board Md. Rafeuzzaman said, “It’s an alarming condition for the people who largely contribute to our economy. For the betterment of those expatriates, we are holding talks with other stakeholders.”
CAAB Chairman Air vice Marshall Muhammad Mafidur Rahman told Bangladesh Post, "We have already held talks with all the airlines over our dissatisfactions. We have asked them to show proper reasons why air fares to Middle East countries have increased beyond imagination.”
In the countries of the Middle East where the Bangladeshi labor market exists, only those countries are experiencing the scarcity of air tickets and the unusual increase in fares. The airlines are arbitrarily imposing extra fares on expatriates. Air fares from Bangladesh to Middle Eastern countries are several times higher than those in neighboring countries Nepal, India and Sri Lanka.
While a maximum of 15 percent to 20 percent of the passengers on international routes travel on Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the remaining 80 percent travel on foreign flights. Local airline Biman unnecessarily raises prices in various sectors to prove itself as a profitable company.
As a result, foreign airlines follow them and increase fares in leaps and bounds. Foreign airlines are taking thousands of dollars away from Bangladesh due to the unusual increase in ticket prices. Helpless expatriate workers are being oppressed in this way. At the same time, the country is facing severe economic losses.