The High Commissioner and the Foreign Secretary used the opportunity to chat with departing passengers
A total of 290 Australian citizens and permanent residents left Dhaka for Melbourne on Thursday night by a non-scheduled flight of Sri Lankan Airlines.
The flight departed from the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at around 8 pm, an airport official told The Business Standard.
The Australian High Commission in Dhaka also confirmed the matter and said that they helped these Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families to find a way to return home to Australia.
Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer, Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud bin Momen and other officials were present at the airport to ensure the process ran smoothly.
The High Commissioner and the Foreign Secretary used the opportunity to chat with departing passengers.
"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," he added.
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.
In late March, the Bangladesh government briefed foreign envoys that it would allow foreign nationals living here to leave the country by chartered flights as commercial flights were suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the announcement, 919 stranded Americans were evacuated by the US Embassy from Bangladesh on three separate chartered flights of Qatar Airways.
On March 26, 354 Malaysian and Bhutanese citizens left Dhaka on three separate flights. Of them, two Drukair flights carried 124 Bhutanese nationals and 230 Malaysians went by a Malaysia Airlines flight.
The Japanese government evacuated 327 of its nationals from Dhaka on April 2 through a chartered flight of Biman Bangladesh.
A total of 123 citizens of European Union (EU) countries left Dhaka for Frankfurt, Germany on April 10 by a special chartered flight of German Condor Airlines.