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Hundreds of Britons to be repatriated from Bangladesh

Another repatriation flight has also been arranged to bring back UK nationals from Sierra Leone.

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Virgin Atlantic flight VS355 arrives at London Heathrow, carrying the first UK nationals from India’s capital city, Mumbai, back to the UK. The Foreign Office has chartered 12 more flights to bring more than 3,000 stranded UK nationals back from India.

Virgin Atlantic flight VS355 arrives at London Heathrow, carrying the first UK nationals from India’s capital city, Mumbai, back to the UK. The Foreign Office has chartered 12 more flights to bring more than 3,000 stranded UK nationals back from India.

Virgin Atlantic flight VS355 arrives at London Heathrow, carrying the first UK nationals from India’s capital city, Mumbai, back to the UK. The Foreign Office has chartered 12 more flights to bring more than 3,000 stranded UK nationals back from India.

Hundreds of Britons stuck in Bangladesh will be repatriated after the Government chartered four flights as part of a new push to rescue more than 7,000 passengers from south Asia.

Those deemed most at risk from coronavirus, such as the sick and elderly, will be given priority, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said.

Up to 850 Britons are expected to board the new flights, which will leave the capital Dhaka for London on April 21, 23, 25 and 26, the department said.

Tickets will cost £600 per person and travellers will also be able to board transfer flights to the capital from Sylhet, in the country’s north east.

Meanwhile, another repatriation flight is being arranged on Wednesday to bring UK nationals back to Britain from Sierra Leone.

The Bangladesh operation comes after the Government announced 17 chartered flights from India and 10 from Pakistan, expected to bring home around 4,000 and 2,500 passengers respectively.

The services are being part-funded by the Government’s £75 million scheme to organise flights from countries where commercial routes have been severed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lord Ahmad, Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, said: “Foreign Office staff in the UK and Bangladesh have been working tirelessly with the Bangladeshi authorities to help British travellers who want to come back to the UK and these flights mean people can now do that.

“Our staff will continue to support those Britons who remain in Bangladesh throughout this crisis, and beyond.”

British tourists, short-term visitors and their direct dependants in Sierra Leone will be able to book tickets for the special flight on Wednesday for £600 per person, but only those who are normally resident in the UK will be eligible to travel.

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Sammy Johnheaney, 22, from Woking after arriving at Heathrow off a chartered flight from Mumbai (Steve Parsons/PA)

Sammy Johnheaney, 22, from Woking after arriving at Heathrow off a chartered flight from Mumbai (Steve Parsons/PA)

PA

Sammy Johnheaney, 22, from Woking after arriving at Heathrow off a chartered flight from Mumbai (Steve Parsons/PA)

The flight will leave Freetown International Airport at 6.55pm on April 22, arriving at London Stansted Airport in the early hours of April 23.

Passengers travelling from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, must report to the Sea Coach terminal in the Aberdeen area of the city between 12pm and 3pm on Wednesday.

Some 5,000 people are or have been repatriated from India on 21 previously announced flights operating from April 8-20.

More than 7,500 British nationals who do not usually reside in Pakistan have already returned to the UK from the country since the crisis began, the FCO said.

However, tens of thousands of Britons remain unable to get home from countries around the world, including some still stuck in Peru after being stopped from accessing the UK’s final rescue flight from the country.

The FCO says it has brought back more than 7,300 people on 35 flights from 13 countries.

It also estimates that 1.3 million people have returned to the UK on commercial flights since the end of January, when concerns about coronavirus began to escalate.

The charter flights are for UK travellers who normally live in the UK and their direct dependants.

Britons wanting to book a spot should visit https://etm.eventsair.com/fco-bangladesh/bangladesh/Site/Register for Bangladesh and https://etm.eventsair.com/fco-sierra-leone/fco-charter1047freetown/Site/Register for Sierra Leone.

PA