UK ANNOUNCES FIRST CHARTER FLIGHTS FROM INDIA TO BRING BRITISH NATIONALS HOME
The Voice of Chandigarh| Travel Trade Reporter
UK has announced the first seven charter flights that will bring home British nationals in India. The charter flights will depart for London from the following cities:
· Goa: 8, 10 and 12 April
· Mumbai: 9 and 11 April
· New Delhi: 9 and 11 April
British travellers should visit the booking portal for respective cities to reserve seats. Information on further flights from other locations in India will follow shortly.
Acting High Commissioner to India Jan Thompson said: “We know how worrying the past few weeks have been for British nationals in India. I hope this announcement will bring relief, especially to those in greatest need. Due to the large numbers of British travellers involved, the scale of this operation is huge. The UK Government continues to work hard with our Indian counterparts in New Delhi and London to arrange a safe journey back for as many people as possible.”
Foreign Office Minister of State, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon said: “The UK is working around the clock to support the large numbers of British travellers who wish to return to the UK from India and around the world. In the absence of commercial flights, these first charter flights from India should provide relief to some of our British travellers who are desperate to return home, especially for the most vulnerable and those in greatest need.”
Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of British nationals is the top priority of the UK Government. The British High Commission will continue to provide consular support to any British nationals who remain in India and require assistance.
o Movement within India is currently very restricted. Travellers should only apply for flights leaving from the state they are currently in.
o These flights are for UK travellers who normally reside in the UK and their direct dependants.
o A number of seats will be reserved for those deemed vulnerable. Individuals in this group will be contacted directly.
o Details regarding luggage allowance, flight costs and carriers will be available on the booking portal.
· The UK continues to work with partners to secure seats for British nationals on flights that other countries are running. On 4 April, 113 of the most vulnerable British nationals left Goa on an Irish flight.
· An estimated 35,000 British Nationals are currently in India. Over 20,000 have told us they wish to return to the UK as soon as possible.
· In response to the unprecedented travel restrictions in place worldwide, the UK Government on 30 March announced a new partnership with airlines to enable British travellers to fly home. Where commercial routes do not exist, the Government will provide up to £75 million to enable special charter flights to bring home UK residents.
· British nationals in India are advised to follow our travel advice and social media channels for the latest information, and to call the following consular numbers if they require immediate assistance: New Delhi: +91 (11) 2419 2100; Chennai: +91 (44) 42192151; Mumbai: +91 (22) 6650 2222.