A total of 114 Bangladesh citizens, mostly students, returned home from the United Kingdom (UK) on Monday morning.
They were stranded in the UK since the suspension of international flights between Dhaka and London in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
A Biman Bangladesh Airlines special chartered flight – BG 4041 – carrying the Bangladesh citizens landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 9:45am, said Tahera Khandakar, deputy general manager (public relations) of Biman.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem saw off the returning passengers at the Heathrow Airport.
Earlier, at the request of Bangladesh High Commission in London, the government arranged the flight, being operated by the national flag carrier and chartered by Bangladesh Air Force Welfare Trust (BAFWT).
The High Commission facilitated the return of the Bangladeshis after forming a COVID-19 Emergency Repatriation Committee.
Initially, more than 200 stranded Bangladeshi citizens, including students booked their flight, but many of them had cancelled their booking at the very last moment citing personal reasons and in the fear of institutional quarantine in Bangladesh on their arrival.
However, the High Commission has already provided all the passengers with a health certificate based on their health assessment so that they would be directed to home quarantine only.
Similarly, the High Commission has assured all passengers travelling from Dhaka to London that they would be guided to home quarantine.
“We are grateful to Bangladesh Government, especially to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina; and for the initiative of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bangladesh Air Force in particular for chartering this flight,” said High Commissioner Tasneem.