Government arranges more flights to return British travellers

The Government has announced an extension to its repatriation programme Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA

Flights to bring back stranded Britons from the Indian cities of Delhi, Goa and Mumbai will begin next week, the Government has said.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is continuing with a £75 million operation to bring people back to the UK in the face of travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus.

The FCO said 10 airlines had joined its scheme and that it would also charter flights to airlift Britons from Bolivia, Ecuador and Philippines.

It comes as the department extends its advice against travelling overseas for an indefinite period due to the pandemic.

The operation was launched last Monday by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, and his office said more than 1,450 British travellers had returned home on charter flights since then, including from Peru, Tunisia and Algeria.

“Travellers are facing an unprecedented challenge on a global scale, and I know people are understandably desperate to get back to their homes and loved ones,” he said.

“We are committed to supporting Britons getting home either through commercial routes we have helped keep open or through specially chartered flights.

“With more airlines signing up it should mean more flights available but also a fairer deal for travellers by providing more flexibility over tickets and costs.”

Meanwhile, the FCO is warning Britons in Sweden that commercial flights to the UK will cease on April 9 and to not run the risk of being stranded.