Monday, May 11, 2020

13,500 British nationals repatriated from India on 58 flights

London: Around 13,500 British nationals stranded in India due to the coronavirus lockdown have been repatriated to their homes in the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said on Monday.

More than 30,000 British travellers have now returned to the UK on 142 special UK government charter flights from 27 different countries and territories since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The 30,000th passenger returned home on a special charter flight from India's Amritsar city on Saturday evening.

“On top of the 1.3 million Britons we’ve helped return on commercial flights, we’ve now brought back 30,000 UK travellers from 27 countries,” said UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

“We remain tirelessly focused on helping the most vulnerable Brits around the world get back home safe and sound,” he said.
The FCO said it has been working around the clock with the airline industry and host governments across the world, with a 75-million pound fund for special charter flights to priority countries, focused on helping the most vulnerable travellers.

So far, charter flights have returned British nationals to the UK from countries ranging from India, Pakistan and Nepal to Bolivia, Bermuda and New Zealand.

India leads with 13,500 travellers returning so far since April 8, followed by 4,000 British nationals on 19 flights from Pakistan since April 20. Over 2,000 British nationals have returned from South Africa from April 9-17, more than 1,500 from New Zealand since April 25 and around 1,600 from Bangladesh since April 21.
In one case, British High Commission staff in India masterminded a 60-hour, 1,700-mile-long trip involving five different drivers and crossing seven states, even receiving a police escort at one point, to make sure a British citizen could take one of the special return flights to the UK.
11/05/20 PTI/India TV
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