British nationals queue up before checking-in for a special flight bound for London during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport in Amritsar on April 23, 2020. (Photo by NARINDER NANU / AFP) (Photo by NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images)

THE UK government has announced five more flights to bring home British travellers stranded in India due to the coronavirus lockdown, with four flights scheduled from Amritsar and one from Ahmedabad.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said that once these flights are completed, over 16,500 travellers will have been brought back from India on 64 special flights chartered as part of the government’s £75-million repatriation plan.

“Our special charter flight programme has been a concerted effort, with daily flight departures to the UK from across India since 8 April – alongside ongoing support to those who remain,” said Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon.

Lord (Tariq)Ahmad of Wimbledon

@tariqahmadbt

We have now chartered more than 60 ✈️s to bring stranded Brits home from India. 5 new flights from Amritsar & Ahmedabad departing 12-15 May take us to a total of 64 flights. More info here: https://bit.ly/3dqPJak 

Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon

UK announces more flights to bring stranded Brits home from India

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has announced five further flights to bring stranded British travellers home from India.

gov.uk

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“These further flights bring the number of planes chartered by the government to bring British travellers home from India to 64,” he added.

The flights are scheduled as follows:

•       Amritsar to London Heathrow: 12, 13, 14 and 15 May
•       Ahmedabad to London Heathrow: 13 May

As with the last round of flights, seats on the planes will be allocated to those who have already registered on the British government’s online booking portal, Corporate Travel Management (CTM).

Acting high commissioner to India, Jan Thompson, said: “We have helped over 14,000 travellers return to the UK so far on charter flights, and I am pleased to announce a further round to bring back those still waiting to get home.

“I strongly encourage anyone who wants to leave to accept seats offered to them. We continue to support all British nationals who require assistance.”

The FCO said its flights are aimed at British nationals and depart from regions of India with the highest demand. The focus is also on helping vulnerable non-British UK residents with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or permanent residency where possible. Other visa categories may also be accommodated where possible, the FCO said.

Seats on the charter flights are allocated to those already registered, with confirmations of the flight sent directly alongside information on how to get to airports once the seat is confirmed.

The latest tranche of UK flights comes as the Indian government also began the repatriation process for its nationals stranded abroad, with specially commissioned Air India flights set to fly between London Heathrow Airport and Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru from this weekend.

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