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Published on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

'We're finally making it back home'

British Airways has started bringing home thousands of UK nationals stranded in India due to the coronavirus.

The operation is part of a total of 65 rescue flights being operated by BA to bring home Britons from around the world.

The flights are being operated as part of agreements with travel operators including cruise companies and national authorities, as well as part of a continued effort between British Airways and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

BA is also carrying hundreds of tonnes of essential supplies including medicines and personal protective equipment to the UK through IAG Cargo.

In India, the airline is picking up passengers from 11 airports over the next two weeks. They are Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Goa, Amritsar, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. 

The repatriation effort has been a collaboration between the UK and Indian Government authorities, BA and the airport teams in both Britain and India.

BA chairman and CEO Alex Cruz 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 Ahmad, 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 nationals who may have not got confirmed travel back to the UK as yet can visit the India Travel Advice page and use the city-specific webpages to register themselves.

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