20,000 stranded Brits returning to the UK from South Asia on UK charter flights
London — In recent days, 28 further charter flights from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan have been announced, with the capacity to carry around 7,000 passengers:
- 14 from India, running between 28 April and 4 May
- 9 from Pakistan, running between 30 April and 7 May
- 5 from Bangladesh, running between 29 April and 7 May
These flights are in addition to 55 charters that have already departed from across South Asia in previous weeks, a press release from foreign office reads.
Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, said:
We have been working round the clock to ensure British people in the region can return to the UK and we have already chartered 55 flights, helping more than 12,000 Brits. These 28 additional flights will mean 8,000 more people are brought back to the UK from across South Asia.
We know British travellers remain concerned about getting home to their friends and families, and we continue to do all we can to bring them back to the UK.
British travellers should continue to monitor our travel advice for the latest information on flights and can contact our Embassies and High Commissions if they require urgent consular support.
The addition of 28 flights will mean the UK Government has facilitated the return of more than 20,000 British travellers on 83 flights from across the region since the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis began.
When completed, the 20,000 British travellers on Government charter flights includes:
- more than 13,000 people will have returned to the UK from India on 52 flights by 4 May
- almost 5,000 people will have flown to the UK on 19 charter flights from Pakistan by 7 May
- more than 2,100 British travellers will have returned to the UK from Bangladesh by 7 May on nine charter flights
- more than 700 passengers have returned to the UK on 3 charter flights from Nepal between 8-17 April
The UK Government is working with the airline industry and host governments across the world to help bring back British travellers to the UK as part of the plan announced by the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on 30 March – with up to £75 million available for special charter flights to priority countries, focused on helping the most vulnerable travellers.
The UK has worked closely with governments in the region to keep commercial flights running and airports open. It has also chartered flights where commercial options are not available, and to help those who are most vulnerable to get back home.