Covid-19 update: UK repatriates over 16,500 citizens from India
The UK has repatriated more than 16,500 citizens from India on 64 special charter flights since last month, the British high commission said on Friday.
The flights were operated from 32 locations across India in the past 38 days, and almost half of the Britons repatriated globally so far on UK charter flights have been from India.
This was done through a large and complex operation that involved more than 500 members of staff in India, working around the clock to ensure flights operated smoothly and passengers could reach airports.
The nationwide lockdown required close coordination between British authorities and the Indian government and local authorities to transport passengers over large distances.
One British national stranded in a remote village in Manipur had to travel more than 2,700 km for the flight home from New Delhi, the high commission said.
Jan Thompson, the acting high commissioner to India, said:“The last currently scheduled charter flight left for London Heathrow from Amritsar today [Friday] with over 300 passengers on board.
“This unprecedented repatriation effort would not have been possible without the excellent support of the Indian government. Continued cooperation between our nations will be essential in the fight against this pandemic.”
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, the UK government has helped 1.3 million Britons around the world to return on commercial flights and organised special charter flights from 27 countries and territories.
The UK government currently has no plans for further charter flights but the situation will be kept under review, the high commission said.