Bangladeshi visitors to India would continue to get tourist visas soon, said Indian High Commission in Bangladesh.
Vikram Doraiswami, Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh, said, “We will do everything to provide our visa services [to Bangladeshis] from the highest possible level of the High Commission.”
He made the statement at a programme, organised to mark resumption of air communication between Bangladesh and India under the Air Bubble Agreement, at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, regular flights between Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries, except China, remained halted since March.
On the inaugural day of air communication resumption, two flights of US-Bangla Airlines operated between Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka and Dhaka-Chennai-Dhaka routes.
Speaking as the chief guest of the programme, the Indian envoy said his country wanted to ensure smooth travelling facilities to the maximum number of Bangladeshis.
Indian High Commission currently issues medical, business, employment, entry, journalist, diplomatic, official, UN official and UN diplomatic visas.
At the programme, he also said that airlines were the safest mode of travelling, maintaining health guidelines amid Covid-19 situation.
Bangladesh is one of the 14 countries with whom India has Air Bubble Agreement. Indian High Commission in Bangladesh used to issue between 7,000 and 10,000 visas to the Bangladeshis every day. Now, it is issuing around 1,000 visas a day.
“We hope it could pick up rapidly… Bangladesh is a priority. Those who need to travel urgently, please come to us. We will be happy to facilitate visas,” he said.
Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice-Marshal M Mafidur Rahman said they were cautious to ensure peoples’ health safety as they operate flights.
According to Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation, India has created an air travel agreement with Bangladesh, effective from today. This agreement is valid till January 31.
In order to travel between the two countries, Covid-19 negative certificate is a must within 72 hours before travel, said Kamrul Islam, general manager, public relations, US-Bangla Airlines.
All passengers traveling to India will have to undergo mandatory home quarantine for seven days, authorities said.
US-Bangla Airlines will operate flights on Dhaka-Chennai, Dhaka-Kolkata and from Chittagong-Chennai routes.
The national flag carrier, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, will also resume regular passenger flights to India from today.
Biman will operate weekly three flights each on the Dhaka-Delhi-Dhaka route from October 29, Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka route from November 1, and Dhaka-Chennai-Dhaka route from November 15, Biman Managing Director and CEO Mokabbir Hossain said.
Biman, US-Bangla Airlines and Novo Air would initially operate 28 flights a week while five Indian airlines — Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Vistara and GoAir — would operate 28 flights a week between the two countries under the agreement.