Commercial flights remain suspended in India as thousands of British tourists await repatriation. The British Foreign Office launched a £75m operation to help British citizens return to the United Kingdom from India. Seven flights had been scheduled to carry passengers from various cities between Wednesday and Sunday. Now, an additional 12 flights have been scheduled to continue the process.
Last Sunday, the Foreign Office announced that there will be seven flights between April 8 and 12 flying out from India. The flights will be leaving from airports in Goa, Mumbai, and New Delhi. However, seven flights have not been enough to assist the evacuation of all stranded citizens from India to the UK.
It is estimated that around 3,000 more citizens will remain in India even after the seven flights make it back to the UK. 12 more flights have been arranged with the help of Corporate Travel Management (CTM). Flights will be departing from more cities to allow evacuees to reach the airports with greater ease.
The Daily Mail pointed out that there had been a lot of complaints regarding the waitlist and price of flights. Depending on the city, the cost of a ticket ranges between £400-£700.
To book flight tickets, citizens have been encouraged to visit the Foreign Office website. All flights from India will be landing in London Heathrow.
Currently, there are two direct flights from Goa (14 April and 16 April), one flight from Goa with a stop in Mumbai (18 April), three direct flights from Amritsar (13 April, 17 April, and 19 April), two direct flights from Ahmedabad (13 April and 15 April), one flight from Hyderabad with a stop in Ahmedabad (17 April), one flight from Chennai with a stop in Bangalore (20 April), one flight from Kolkata with a stop in Delhi (19 April), and one flight from Trivandrum with a stop in Kochi/Cochin (15 April).
India is currently under COVID-19 lockdown and its land borders and commercial flights have been suspended till April 14. Cooperation from the Indian government has allowed the Foreign Office to charter flights during the lockdown as well. India is one of the priority countries along with South Africa and Peru as there are large numbers of British citizens demanding repatriation in these countries.