UK Government To Operate Additional Indian Rescue Flights

The government of the United Kingdom has confirmed via the Britsh High Commission that it has made plans to lay on 17 additional rescue flights this month to bring stranded United Kingdom citizens home from India. After having already sent several rescue flights to bring British nationals back from India due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the new tally brings the total number of India rescue flights to 38.

British government adds 17 more rescue flights to India. Photo: British Airways

The decision to add more flights comes after British citizens complained that due to lockdown measures in place, they were unable to make it to the departure airports in what is, after all, a vast country. Currently, India has closed its borders and suspended both international and domestic flights until at least May 3, 2020. This leaves Britons stranded in India with no commercial options for getting home.

4,000 seats will be available

The UK government has heard their pleas and has now made an additional 4,000 seats available departing from the following cities:

  • From Delhi to London on April 19, 21, 23, 25, and 27 
  • From Ahmedabad to London on April 17, 20, 22, 23, 24, and 26
  • From Bangalore via Ahmedabad to London on April 20 and 23
  • From Goa to London via Mumbai on April 18,20, 22, and 24
  • From Mumbai to London on April 18 and 26

You have until midnight on Sunday…

On its website, the British High Commission Issued a Statement which read:

“You should register to book a flight on these or future flights. Visit the booking portal for your nearest city to reserve seats on a flight to London. All remaining booking portals will close at 23:59 IST on Sunday, April, the 19th. Please be aware that we expect many of the seats on these flights will be filled by those who have already previously registered.”

Any passenger who has already registered for a flight does not need to take any further action and will be contacted by CTM to confirm the booking. Those still wishing to register for the coronavirus rescue flights should visit the India Travel Advice page on the government’s website.

British Airways 777 repatriation
Flights from India back to the UK will cost between £537 ($671) and £591($739) Photo: Getty Images

To make a booking you will need the following:

  • A valid passport with the ability to meet the entry requirements of the UK
  • Contact details for each traveler you are registering
  • Your UK home address and postcode
  • Your means of payment, such as credit or debit card details

Repatriation flights from India back to the United Kingdom will cost between £537 ($671) and £591($739). For British nationals who decide to remain in India, they can receive consular assistance by telephoning the following phone numbers:

  • New Delhi: +91 (11) 2419 2100
  • Chennai: +91 (44) 42192151
  • Goa: +91 (22) 6650 2222

Flights part of £75 million rescue package

According to website Business Traveller when speaking about the repatriation flights, Acting High Commissioner to India Jan Thompson said:

“We are working around the clock to arrange additional flights from locations where we know large numbers are still stranded.” Meanwhile, the UK Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon added by saying:

“We know this is a difficult time for British travelers and there is a great demand for these flights. This is a huge and logistically-complex operation, and we are working tirelessly with the Indian Government and state authorities to help more British travelers get home.”

UK government airline bailout
The UK government is dedicating £75m to repatriation flights. Photo: Getty Images

The coronavirus rescue flights to India are all part of a £75 million ($93.8) program to bring British citizens stranded overseas home.

Will you be attempting to book one of these flights? Let us know your travel plans by leaving a comment!