Over 3,000 British travellers currently stranded in India will get home on 12 additional charter flights which have opened for bookings today.
This follows the seven charter flights announced on April 5 from Goa, Mumbai and New Delhi (8-12 April) and will take the total number of people brought back on these 19 flights to around 5,000.
The first charter flight from India arrived at London Stanstead on Thursday morning with 317 British nationals on board from Goa.
UK Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon said: “We are doing all we can to get thousands of British travellers in India home. This is a huge and complex operation which also involves working with the Indian Government to enable people to move within India to get on these flights. Over 300 people arrived from Goa on Thursday morning, 1,400 more will arrive over the Easter weekend and these 12 flights next week will bring back thousands more.”
Jan Thompson, Acting High Commissioner to India, said: “We can confirm 12 more charter flights to bring British travellers back home – on top of the flights already launched. We are extremely grateful for the support we are receiving from the Government of India on this. Getting people home as quickly as possible remains our absolute priority.”
The following flights to London are scheduled for the next two weeks and British travellers should visit the India Travel Advice page to reserve seats as well as for any further information:
-- Amritsar - UK: 13, 17, 19 April
-- Ahmedabad - UK: 13, 15 April
-- Goa - UK: 14, 16 April
-- Goa (via Mumbai) - UK: 18 April
-- Thiruvananthapuram (via Kochi) - UK: 15 April
-- Hyderabad (via Ahmedabad) - UK: 17 April
-- Kolkata (via Delhi) - UK: 19 April
-- Chennai (via Bengaluru) - UK: 20 April
India is a priority country for the FCO to arrange charter flights from, with a large number of Britons seeking to return and a lack of commercial options – made more challenging by the size of the country and the restrictions on movement that are in place.
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 last week (30 March) – with up to £75 million available for special charter flights to priority countries, focused on helping the most vulnerable travellers. So far, flights have brought back British travellers from the Philippines, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nepal, Ghana, Tunisia, Algeria and Peru.