Bangladesh has eased restrictions on all domestic flights from Sunday (Sep 13) onwards as the country's civil aviation authority has issued updated guidelines after the Covid-19 situation showed signs of abating.
In line with the updated guidelines, which also comply with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) rules, domestic flights operators are now allowed to carry passengers in all seats except the last two rows, on condition that airlines provide face shields to passengers, reports said.
Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman told journalists that the decision was taken following growing demands of passengers in domestic routes.
He however, said that operators have to keep at least two consecutive rows from the front on any side (left/right) in economy class and at least one row in business class vacant for the use of Covid-19 suspected passengers.
The CAAB chief said operators will also provide face guards to all passengers occupying either on the aisle seat for two-seat rows or centre seats in three-seat rows.
CAAB in its guidelines had earlier said operators have to keep at least 25 per cent seats vacant on each flight to ensure proper social distancing.
In an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country, CAAB had suspended all domestic flights on Mar 21.
On Jun 1, it permitted operation of all domestic flights maintaining social distancing and following health guidelines.
Flight operations on international routes from Bangladesh also resumed from Jun 16 on a limited scale.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Bangladesh totalled to over 336,000, while fatalities stood at 4,702.