The Australian High Commission in Dhaka helped 290 Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families find a way to return home to Australia on a nonscheduled Sri Lankan Airlines flight that departed Dhaka International Airport on the evening of 16 April.
Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud bin Momen, Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer and other officials were present at the airport to ensure the process ran smoothly.
The foreign secretary and high commissioner used the opportunity to chat with departing passengers, says a press release
“With most flights to and from Bangladesh suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Australians approached us looking for a way to return to Australia, so they could reunite with family members or meet work commitments,” the high commissioner said. “Thanks to Sri Lankan Airlines, we found a solution.”
The high commissioner thanked the Bangladesh government, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, local law enforcement agencies and airport officials for their support, without which the flight would not have been possible.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Australian government has helped over 10,000 Australians to return home from overseas, including from cruise ships and by using one-off arrangements with commercial airlines.