UK Government expands return flights programme for thousands of stranded Brits from across South Asia

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7,000 more people will be able to get home from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, after a further 31 charter flights were announced by the Foreign Office.

On Friday, the following charter flights were announced:

  • 17 from India, which will run from 20-27 April
  • 10 from Pakistan, running between 21-27 April
  • 4 from Bangladesh, which will run from 21-27 April

The UK has worked closely with South Asian governments to keep commercial flight routes running and airports open. It has already chartered 24 flights from the region to help vulnerable British nationals return home in previous weeks.

The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab said:

We are working around the clock to get British travellers home. Since the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, we’ve helped more than a million British citizens return home on commercial flights – backed up by our work with the airlines and foreign governments to keep flights running.

Our special charter deal with the airlines has enabled us to return thousands more. Now, I can announce the next 31 flights from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh which will get 7,000 more Brits safely back home.

The addition of 31 flights will mean the UK Government has facilitated the return of more than 10,000 British travellers on 55 flights from the region since the coronavirus crisis began.

  • Around 5,000 British nationals will have returned to the UK from India between 8-19 April on 21 UK charter flights from 11 Indian cities. The 17 extra flights from India announced on Friday will be able to carry around 4,000 passengers, and bring the total number chartered by the UK Government from India to 38.

  • The flights from Pakistan will bring around 2,500 people home. More than 8,000 British nationals returned to the UK between 4-16 April, via 23 commercial flights, following extensive cooperation between the UK and Pakistan.

  • The four flights from Bangladesh will have the capacity to bring home up to 850 passengers.

  • Three charter flights from Nepal have also returned more than 700 passengers to the UK.

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 from priority countries, focused on helping the most vulnerable travellers.

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