The British High Commission has announced plans for additional charter flights to bring home British travellers stranded in India.
A total of 12 additional charter flights will open for bookings today (Friday April 10), capable of carrying 3,000 passengers.
The following flights to London are scheduled for the next two weeks, and British travellers should visit the India Travel Advice page for further information and to reserve seats:
- Amritsar: April 13, 17, 19
- Ahmedabad: April 13, 15
- Goa: April 14, 16
- Goa (via Mumbai): April 18
- Thiruvananthapuram (via Kochi) : April 15
- Hyderabad (via Ahmedabad): April 17
- Kolkata (via Delhi): April 19
- Chennai (via Bengaluru): April 20
These add to the previously announced seven charter flights from Goa, Mumbai and New Delhi, taking the total number of travellers which can be brought home on these rescue flights to around 5,000.
The following advice has also been provided for those looking to secure flights home:
- The charter flights are for UK travellers who normally reside in the UK and their direct dependants. A number of seats will be reserved for those deemed vulnerable.
- To book flights and register their details, British nationals should use the city-specific webpages listed on the India Travel Advice page.
- Movement within India is currently very restricted. The British High Commission will contact those who have confirmed seats on the flight with further details regarding transport.
- Those who are eligible to fly will be sent information on how to get to airports and flight itineraries directly when their seat is confirmed.
- Details regarding luggage allowance, flight costs and carriers will be available on the booking portal.
- The British High Commission continues to provide consular support to any British nationals who remain in India. Consular helpline numbers: New Delhi: +91 (11) 2419 2100; Chennai: +91 (44) 42192151; Mumbai/Goa: +91 (22) 6650 2222.
Commenting on the news UK Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon said:
“We are doing all we can to get thousands of British travellers in India home. This is a huge and complex operation which also involves working with the Indian Government to enable people to move within India to get on these flights.
“Over 300 people arrived from Goa on Thursday morning, 1,400 more will arrive over the Easter weekend and these 12 flights next week will bring back thousands more.”
The British High Commission said that “India is a priority country for the FCO to arrange charter flights from, with a large number of Britons seeking to return and a lack of commercial options – made more challenging by the size of the country and the restrictions on movement that are in place”.
The rescue flights from India are part of a £75 million programme to bring Britons stranded abroad back to the UK.