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Monday, February 19, 2018 11:27:18 PM
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We welcome UK`s removal of ban on direct air cargo

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20th-Feb-2018       
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THE UK government has fully withdrawn the two-year-long ban on direct cargo flights from Dhaka to London ending the plight of exporters, particularly garment exporters who were facing difficulty to make emergency shipment of samples and other cargo to buyers within the stipulated time. The British government said it is now satisfied with the security arrangements at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), which were however in place much before and exporters believe the ban could be removed even earlier. Direct cargo flight is now open from Dhaka to London from early this week.

British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake made the announcement of the removal of the ban to reporters on Sunday accompanied by Bangladesh Civil Aviation Minister in the capital. Needless to say, Bangladeshi exporters have immediately welcomed the decision who were making heavy business losses over the past two years from the ban. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson earlier indicated during his visit to Dhaka last week that the ban would go soon. The UK authorities have however called for hiring joint security experts and carry out at least three periodic mandatory safety assessments in a year at Dhaka airport to maintain international safety standard to keep the Dhaka-London cargo flights uninterrupted. Biman had earlier operated four cargo flights a week; in addition to other airlines to keep the country's essential supply chain uninterrupted.

The UK has imposed the ban on direct cargo flight in March 2016 after the Holey Artisan mayhem in Dhaka July 2015. Australia earlier imposed the ban in December 2015 and Germany did it later. The European Union halted direct cargo flight in June last year. All of them used security apprehension at Dhaka airport as the major cause of the ban, although Bangladesh was prompt to effectively curb the militancy and upgrade security measures at Dhaka airport hiring a UK based security consulting firm and implementing such other security guidelines. We can now legitimately hope since the UK government has withdrawn the ban, others would quickly follow the suit.

Bangladesh business leaders feel the ban has been unjustifiably harming the export industry and buyers in those countries. They believe if the question of terror attacks is the main cause behind such ban, all such countries have their own stories of terrorists' attacks; which they are successfully fighting back. The best way is to cooperate instead of isolating the long time business partners at times giving a sense of undue business discrimination.

Bangladesh can now reasonably claim it has successfully destroyed terrorists' hideouts and is a relatively safe place than many other countries. So we hope the countries still maintaining the ban would withdraw it quickly to support Bangladesh's business community's efforts to reach their market freely.   


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