Bangladesh: Migrant workers face job uncertainty as a shortage of flights to the Middle East results in increased migration costs

Migrant workers headed to the Middle East are facing job uncertainty after four airlines suspended flights from Bangladesh to the region. Airfares for other airlines have consequently doubled and, together with more expensive medical tests for workers, are increasing the already high cost of migration. Although the government sets fixed migration costs to the Middle East, workers claim they are being forced to pay three or five times the set amount.

Recruitment agents say that employers in destination countries are threatening to revoke workers visas if they do not arrive in-country on time. Recruitment agents also allege that a group of travel agents are taking advantage of the shortage of flights to increase ticket prices, something denied by a representative for the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry.

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Article
10 April 2019

Bangladesh: Airfare trouble for migrant workers

Author: The Daily Star (Bangladesh)

Middle East-bound Bangladeshi workers are finding themselves in a tight spot as they have to pay more than double the airfare which is adding to the already high cost of migration. The rise in airfare stemmed from suspension of flights from Bangladesh by four airlines... This is creating uncertainty for many overseas jobseekers, [Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, secretary general of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies] said... he has to send 15 workers to Saudi Arabia as soon as possible. Their employer yesterday asked him to send them by tomorrow. The employer has threatened to cancel their visas if they don't arrive there by that time... Several Middle East-bound workers spoke of their troubles to this correspondent. [Bangladeshi migrant] Abdulla bin Saleh... said he has Saudi visa, but the recruiting agent is saying that there is a shortage of air tickets.

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Article
10 April 2019

Workers’ migration cost to go up: BAIRA

Author: New Age (Bangladesh)

Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies... hinted that the cost of migration for the outbound workers from the country would go up due to increase in airfare and workers’ medical tests fees...BAIRA leaders said that they could not keep the government-fixed migration cost ‘stable’ due to increased migration services expenditures... [and] that the medical fees for each migrant worker had been raised by Tk 5000 while the airfare in the international routes had gone up by 80-100 per cent... victims complain that the migrant workers are forced to pay actually three to five times of the government-fixed cost. 

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