Bangladesh has re-opened for international scheduled passenger flights, albeit with COVID-19 restrictions and excluding 12 countries currently considered high-risk.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) in a recent NOTAM announced the restart of international schedules on May 1 as per the Summer 2021 schedule, except for passengers to/from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Georgia, India, Iran, Mongolia, Oman, South Africa, and Tunisia. Air bubble flights between Bangladesh and India remained suspended until further notice.

Only Bangladeshi expatriates and citizens who visited these countries two weeks before travelling to Bangladesh will be given access by special authorisation from CAAB. On arrival, they will have to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine at government-nominated hotels at their own expense.

Arrivals from 26 countries deemed less high risk will be permitted entry at Dhaka but will nevertheless have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at government-nominated hotels at their own expense. These countries include Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Chile, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Kuwait, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Uruguay. There is no restriction on passengers travelling to these countries. Passengers of this group may transit via the 12 excluded countries provided they remain confined within the airport under airline supervision.

As an exception, arrivals from Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar must complete a mandatory three-day institutional quarantine at their own expense.

Arrivals from all other countries have to complete a 14-day home quarantine.

In addition, all incoming/outgoing passengers must present a negative PCR Covid-19 certificate obtained within 72 hours of departure.

Capacity restrictions for airlines are as follows:

  • Flights from Dhaka: No capacity restriction for narrow-bodied aircraft, but wide-bodies are restricted to 280 passengers, except for B777 and B747 types which may carry up to 350 passengers.
  • Flights to Dhaka are restricted to 140 passengers for narrowbodies and 200 for widebodies.
  • The last row in economy class and one seat in business class must be kept vacant in all flights to isolate any suspected COVID-19 positive passengers.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG, Dhaka) carried the CAAB notice on its website, highlighting restrictions on travellers from Qatar and Kuwait.

US-Bangla Airlines (BS, Dhaka) used social media to announce the resumption of its flights to Dubai International, Kuala Lumpur International, Doha International, Singapore Changi, and Guangzhou, adding its flights to Muscat, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Kolkata, and Chennai remained suspended.

All international passenger flights had been grounded from April 11, 2021.