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Coronavirus | U.K. to operate seven additional flights to evacuate stranded Brits from India

Photo: Twitter/@UKinIndia

Photo: Twitter/@UKinIndia  

The United Kingdom on Thursday announced seven additional charter flights to bring home the over 2,000 British travellers stranded in India due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown.

All the new flights are between Amritsar and London to cater to the thousands still stranded in Punjab, with a daily flight planned every day between May 5 and 11.

 

With this, over 15,000 British travellers would have been brought back to the country, from India, on 59 government-chartered flights, the U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said.

These additional flights would help the 2,000 more people unite with their family in the U.K. I would like to thank the government of India for their help in making it happen, said Lord Tariq Ahmad, FCO Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth.

The U.K. government has previously announced 52 charter flights bringing back more than 13,000 people from India. The latest tranche brings that total to 59 flights, catering to 15,000 people and over 10,000 of those have already travelled, with the remaining amount due in coming weeks.

Also read: Show typical British resolve, Queen to tell nation amid coronavirus outbreak

Our charter programme has already helped more than 10,000 British travellers return home from India by ensuring flights to the U.K. have run every day since April 8, with thousands more due to depart in the coming days, he said.

As with the last round of charter flights, seats on the new planes will be allocated to those who have already registered via the government’s online booking portal — CTM.

Jan Thompson, Acting High Commissioner to India, said: This fifth round of flights brings the total number of planes we have organised from India to 59. There have been daily departures from across the country for weeks, which have helped thousands of people get back to their friends and families in the U.K. My team and I will continue to do all we can to support British people who remain in India.

She said that staff at the British High Commission in India will continue to provide assistance to those waiting to return to the U.K.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, the U.K. has worked consistently with governments, air carriers and travel companies to minimise disruption and help British travellers return home safely - supported with GBP 75 million for special charter flights to priority countries including India, focussed on helping the most vulnerable people.

Those who are eligible to fly will be sent information on how to get to airports and flight itineraries directly when their seat is confirmed.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 4:01:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/coronavirus-uk-to-operate-seven-additional-flights-to-evacuate-stranded-brits-from-india/article31473698.ece

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