Thousands of flights have been cancelled worldwide as most of the airliners struggle to cope with a slump in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak
A drop in the number of passengers has compelled Biman to cancel and reschedule flights almost every day throughout the week on both domestic and international routes.
After a drastic cut of flights on international routes, flights are also being reduced on domestic routes because passengers are reluctant to travel by air over fear of coronavirus. This is further deepening the crisis in the aviation business in the country.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines on Wednesday cancelled five domestic flights from March 20 to March 21, and rescheduled two flights, including one on an international route.
The flight cancellations on domestic routes were due to a lack of passenger, said Biman's Managing Director Mokabbir Hossain.
Biman cancelled the March 21 flights on the Jashore, Rajshahi, Saidpur and Chattogram routes. It also cancelled one flight on March 20 and another on March 21 on the Sylhet route, according to officials.
The national flag carrier rescheduled the March 20 flight to Kathmandu for March 19.
The drop in the number of passengers has compelled Biman to cancel and reschedule flights almost every day throughout the week on both domestic and international routes.
The national flag carrier has cut 168 out of 226 weekly flights on international routes until Tuesday over the coronavirus outbreak.
Currently, Biman is operating 58 flights in total to the United Kingdom, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Bangkok in a week.
Other local airlines such as US-Bangla and Novoair are facing the same problem because the number of passengers dropped by more than 40 percent this week.
As a result, air fare on domestic routes has also come down to a minimum Tk2,500 for a one-way journey, down from more than Tk3,000 earlier, according to airline companies.
Though Biman has cut its flights on domestic routes, US-Bangla and Novoair are yet to do so.
If the present situation continues, we will have to cut flights even more on domestic routes, said Kamrul Islam, general manager (public relations) of US-Bangla Airlines.
The airline has already slashed its weekly flight frequency from 98 to 22 on international routes, he said.
Under the circumstances, airlines are planning to ask the government to reduce aviation charges so that they can survive.