Stranded Brits to be flown back from B’luru on April 20

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Bengaluru, April 10 (IANS) A chartered aircraft would fly back Britons stranded in this tech city to London on April 20, a top diplomat said on Friday.

“British travellers in Karnataka should visit the India Travel Advice page on website to reserve seats in the chartered aircraft that will fly to London from Bengaluru on April 20,” UK acting High Commissioner Jan Thompson said in a statement here.
Hundreds of Brits have been stranded across the country since the 21-day lockdown was enforced on March 24 midnight to contain the coronavirus spread and all domestic and international flights suspended till further notice.
“The UK government has arranged 12 chartered flights from Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram in south India to fly its citizens to London at the earliest,” said Thompson.
About 3,000 other stranded Brits will return home on the flights from April 13-20 for which bookings opened on Friday.
The aircraft will fly from southern cities Thiruvananthapuram via Kochi on April 15, Hyderabad on April 17, and Chennai via Bengaluru on April 20.
“About 2,000 British citizens stuck across the country have been flown from April 8 to April 12 from Goa, Mumbai and New Delhi in seven chartered flights,” said the statement.
The first chartered flight from India landed at London Stanstead on Thursday with 317 Britishers evacuated from Goa.
“Over 300 Brits arrived from Goa on Thursday; 1,400 more will arrive over the Easter weekend and the remaining in 12 flights by April 20,” said UK Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon from London.
Thompson lauded the Indian government for helping get the stuck Britishers home at the earliest as it is a priority with Britain’s government.
“India is a priority country for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to arrange chartered flights from, with a large number of Brits wanting to return amid absence of commercial flights and curbs on movement of people due to the lockdown,” Thompson pointed out.