Return of 157 Bangladeshis stranded in Australia

08 May 2020 – Press release – Stranded Bangladeshis return from Australia on special Sri Lankan Airline’s ight A total of 157 Bangladeshi passengers, who were stranded in Australiadue to the ban on international ights amidst coronavirus outbreak, havedeparted Melbourne for Dhaka on a special Sri Lankan Airlines ight todayafternoon. The ight will land at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at00:40 hrs (local time) on Saturday, after a stopover at Colombo.

The High Commission for Bangladesh in Canberra facilitated the returnwith support from authorities of Bangladesh and Australia and with activecooperation from the Victorian Bangladeshi Community Foundation (VBCF)and Melton Travel Center who were assigned to coordinate with intendingpassengers and manage funds and ticketing tasks.

Initially at its “needs assessment” template in its website, the HighCommission received requests of 340 Bangladesh origin persons inAustralia who expressed willingness to return to Bangladesh. Based onthis estimate of 300 plus stranded Bangladeshis seeking to return, theHigh Commission secured in principle approval of Bangladesh authoritiesto accept special non-scheduled ight from Australia and tried to charter aight from Sydney to Dhaka.

Drastic reduction in demand from the stranded Bangladeshis compelledthe High Commission to charter Sri Lankan Airlines to operate this ightfrom Melbourne. All passengers were noti;ed to carry up-to-date COVIDsymptom-free or COVID negative certi;cate issued within 3 days beforedeparture.

Bangladesh High Commission wishes to thank Victorian BangladeshiCommunity Foundation (VBCF), Melton Travel Center , BangladeshConsulate General in Sydney as well as Sri Lankan Airlines foroperationalizing this non scheduled ight.