UK to evacuate its citizens from India in 7 charter flights

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New Delhi (NVI): The United Kingdom today announced that it will fly out its citizens stranded in India by seven charter flights amid the coronavirus pandemic, even as the country continues to deal with increasing COVID-19 cases.

The British High Commission in India has said that the UK will operate the first seven evacuation flights that will airlift British nationals from Goa, Mumbai and New Delhi.

The flights will depart for London from Goa on April 8, 9 and 12, and from Mumbai and Delhi on April 9, 11.

The foreign office has advised the British travellers to visit the booking portal for respective cities to reserve seats. Information on further flights from other locations in India will follow shortly, it added.

Acting British High Commissioner to India, Jan Thompson in a statement 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.”

Tariq Ahmad, British Foreign Office Minister of State also said the UK government 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,” he said in a statement.

The British High Commission will continue to provide consular support to any British nationals who remain in India and require assistance, the UK foreign office added. 

India has extended the ban on international passenger flights till April 14, in view of the 21-day nationwide lockdown amid COVID-19 pandemic.