Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London
Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London|Image: FCO

UK announces 17 more charter flights from India to return thousands of stranded Brits

NetIndian News Network

London, April 18, 2020

The United Kingdom has arranged for 17 more chartered flights from India, with a total capacity of around 4,000 passengers, to bring back more people who are stranded there because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown and are waiting for flights.

A press release from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office said there would be four flights from Ahmedabad to London on April 20, 22, 24 and 26; four flights from Amritsar on April 21, 23, 25 and 27; one flight Bengaluru (via Ahmedabad) on April 23; four flights from Delhi on April 21, 23, 25 and 27; three flights from Goa on April 20, 22 and 24; and one flight from Mumbai on April 26.

"People who are most vulnerable will be prioritised for seats on the flights, which will bring the total number chartered by the UK government from India to 38," the release said.

Given the number of people who have already registered for a flight, the majority of seats are likely to be allocated to people who are already on wait lists, having registered via the CTM website, it said.

Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, said: "We know this is a difficult time for British travellers and there is great demand for these flights.

"This is a huge and logistically-complex operation, and we are working tirelessly with the Indian Government and state authorities to help more British travellers get home."

Jan Thompson, Acting High Commissioner to India, said: "There will be 17 more charter flights next week to take British travellers back to the UK – on top of the 21 flights announced previously. We are working around the clock to arrange additional flights from locations where we know large numbers are still stranded and are extremely grateful for the support we are receiving from the Government of India and local authorities."

People who have already registered for the flights do not need to take any further action at this stage. If they have secured a seat, they will be contacted directly by CTM with further information about their flight, the release said.

Those who wish to register for a flight but who have not already done should visit the India travel advice page on GOV.UK to do so.

The flights are expected to cost between £537 and £591.

The 21 UK government charter flights that were announced previously, and are operating from 8 to 20 April, are expected to help over 5,000 British nationals return home.

The charter flights are for UK travellers who normally reside in the UK and their direct dependants. A number of seats will be reserved for those deemed vulnerable.

To book flights and register their details, British nationals should use the city-specific webpages listed on the Return to the UK page on GOV.UK.

Movement within India is currently very restricted. 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.

Details regarding luggage allowance, flight costs and carriers will be available on the booking portal,the release said.

The British High Commission continues to provide consular support to any British nationals who remain in India. Consular helpline numbers:

New Delhi: +91 (11) 2419 2100

Chennai: +91 (44) 42192151

Goa: +91 (22) 6650 2222