DHAKA: The Bangladesh government has allowed domestic flights to resume in a reduced capacity from June 1 after grounding them for more than two months in a measure to stop the spread of coronavirus, it was reported.
"The domestic flights on Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet and Syedpur routes will be operational from Jun 1," Civil Aviation Secretary Md Mohibul Haque told bdnews24 on Thursday.
"We are not reopening flights on all domestic routes for now as three airports are now ready," said Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh or CAAB.
Flights will resume on all routes within a week if all the airports are ready, he said, and added that a decision about international air connectivity remained pending as Bangladesh was still flagged as a high-risk zone by many countries.
CAAB spokesman Mohammad Sohel Kamruzzaman said the suspension on international flights has been extended to June 15.
In a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus infection, Bangladesh initially banned all flights to and from Europe, except the UK, on March 16, reports bdnews24.
Later, the ban was extended to flights from all countries, except China.
Domestic flights were grounded too although the restrictions did not apply to chartered flights, cargo flights, air ambulances and any emergency landings.
Meanwhile, public transport services such as buses and trains will restart operations with a fixed number of passengers from May 31, the day after the nationwide lockdown ends.
The Public Administration Ministry on Wednesday announced that the lockdown, which has been in effect since March 26, will not be extended beyond May 30.
In an order on Thursday, the Cabinet Division said the government will outline the steps that will have to be taken to resume public transport services between May 31 and June 15.
The tally of coronavirus infections in Bangladesh has surged to 40,321 after the daily caseload crossed 2,000 for the first time on Thursday. The death toll stood at 559.