British Airways will fly back thousands of British travellers stranded in India as a result of the Covid-19 crisis to the UK this week.
The airline is flying back thousands of travellers as part of 65 rescue flights that have either operated or are planned to operate in the coming days from destinations worldwide. The airline is also carrying hundreds of tonnes of essential supplies including medicines and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the UK through IAG Cargo. More flights from India to the UK will continue to operate this week. The repatriation effort has been collaboration between the UK and Indian Government authorities, British Airways and the airport teams in both Britain and India.
In India, the airline will serve 11 airports across the country with special flight departures over a period of two weeks. Flights are taking off from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai, and the airline has also extended its operation to serve additional cities which include Goa, Amritsar, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: ‘It is an honour to support the government’s repatriation efforts and keep a small fleet of aircraft flying to bring stranded Britons back to the UK. When families step foot on board our aircraft and tell us how emotional it feels to be coming home, it reminds us why the job we are doing is still so important. We are hugely proud of our colleagues who continue to work with such dedication and commitment through this crisis to fly people and essential supplies across the world.’
The Foreign Office’s Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, said: ‘We know this is a difficult time for British travellers in India and we are pleased to have partnered with airlines, including British Airways, to get them home.
‘This is a huge and logistically-complex operation, and we are working tirelessly with the Indian Government and state authorities to help more British travellers get home.’
Any British national who may have not got confirmed travel back to the UK are advised to visit the India Travel Advice page (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india/return-to-the-uk) and use the city-specific webpages to register themselves, the airline said.