UK finally gets its act in order as regards repatriation flights

Published:  28 Apr at 6 PM
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Thousands of stranded British expats and tourists are finally being repatriated from the Indian sub-continent.

After huge numbers of British citizens stranded overseas took to social media to complain about the UK government’s lack of action as regards getting them home, it seems the message is finally getting through. Over the next week or so, thousands trapped in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India are to be flown home using a fleet of 311 chartered planes. The much-needed air bridge is expected to provide transportation for over 7,000 British citizens, with all tickets now booked and thousands more waiting for a repeat of the desperately needed rescue flights.

According to the British Foreign Secretary, the flights will leave from a selection of airports across the region, adding 27 flights from South Asia had already departed. Over a million Britons have been flown home on commercial flights since the initial coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, and a governmental deal with foreign governments as well as airlines have enabled the rescue missions to keep going.

Yesterday saw 10 flights from Pakistan, four from Bangladesh and 17 from India, with the UK government spending some £75 million on charters aimed at repatriating the most vulnerable British citizens trapped overseas. Charges for the rescue flights range between £400 and £800 dependent on the distance flown, but it’s not known how those without this amount of cash are getting home. The rash of world travel lockdowns caught millions of expats by surprise as no advance warnings were given by the countries concerned, leaving many deciding to stay and make the best of an impossible situation.
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