Saudi Arabian Airlines will provide air tickets for 500 people waiting in queue to get back to Saudi Arabia in the first phase on Thursday.
Visiting firsthand the Bangladesh office of Saudia in Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka’s Karwan Bazar area, hundreds of ticket seekers were seen waiting in line. They said the Airlines will provide tickets for only first 500 people today.
Saudi returnees have been waiting outside the Saudia office to get tickets for the last four-five days as they could not get back to their workplace in Saudi Arabia due to the coronavirus shutdown.
Meanwhile, a group of Bangladeshi migrant workers staged demonstration in Karwan Bazar on Tuesday and Wednesday demanding air tickets.
In wake of protests, Bangladesh authority concerned contacted Saudi authority to resolve the issue.
On Wednesday, the Saudi government agreed to extend visas for the Bangladeshis who want to return to their workplaces in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday told journalists that the visa extension process for those whose visas have expired will start on Sunday.
He also said Bangladesh workers’ iqama will remain valid for 24 more days and if required there will be further extension.
Dr Momen said the Saudi government has given landing permission to Biman Bangladesh Airlines which will help the return of Bangladeshis smoothly.
The government of Bangladesh has also given permission to all Saudi airlines to land here and take Bangladeshis back to the KSA.
Earlier the Saudi authority issued warnings that migrant workers, who were stranded in their home country due to the coronavirus pandemic, must get back to work within September 30. This warning triggered a panic among migrants as most of them could not manage air tickets.