Foreign Office pledges to arrange more rescue flights

24 Mar 2020 by Jenni Reid
British Airways B777-200 at Heathrow

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said the UK government will help facilitate rescue flights for the thousands of British travellers trying to get home from abroad.

Yesterday the Foreign Office advised all Britons abroad to return to the UK as soon as possible, citing the sudden closure of air routes and land borders amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the advice came as many airlines had already announced they would be suspending flights at short notice.

Yesterday both Emirates and Etihad, which operate as key connectors through the United Arab Emirates, said they would suspend flights from March 25.

Countries such as Turkey have banned all flights to the UK.

Raab said the UK was in discussions with Singapore, which on Monday announced a ban on transiting passengers, over acting as a transit hub for rescue flights.

He also said anyone unable to afford the cost of a plane ticket back could get an emergency loan to cover the cost.

However, many travellers have told Business Traveller uncertainty remains over how they can access assistance if they are stuck abroad as airlines either close bookings or quickly fill up flights.

British Airways is set to fly hundreds of stranded travellers back from Peru this week, the Independent reports.

Country-specific advice is being posted by the Foreign Office on Twitter and on


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We are updating the website hourly and will include the details of the FCO rescue flight booking website when it goes live.

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