The ongoing covid-19 pandemic has led to hundreds of people stranded abroad in foreign countries as travel restrictions were put in place. Now, more flights have been put in place by the Government to help bring stranded Britons around the world home. But some travellers are baulking at the price after it was announced that travellers could have to pay up to £1,000 for a ticket.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) revealed details of flights that will bring home Britons from India, Nepal, the Philippines and South Africa.
The FCO launched a £75million operation to charter flights from the destinations last week where commercial routes have been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The only people who are allowed to travel on these routes are those who normally live in the UK.
The flights will operate from the Philippines to Heathrow on Tuesday but tickets will cost around £1,000 per person.
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The flights were being operated by Philippine Airlines and chartered by the FCO.
British ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce issued a video message warning that “there are no plans for further British Government flights”.
He said: “Everyone, please don’t miss this opportunity. Something better will not come along.
“We’ve mobilised our resources to help get you home. We now need you to mobilise yourselves. This is your last chance.”
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The first rescue flight from Nepal will take place on Wednesday while another will happen on Friday.
Tickets will cost £800 per person.
India to the UK will cost £681, while a rescue flight from South Africa to the UK will cost £855.
Some of the Government’s previous rescue flights to Peru cost just £250 per person.
Flights: The FCO said that the cost of the flights will be shared between passengers and taxpayers
The FCO said that the cost of the flights will be shared between passengers and taxpayers.
They also said that only 1,450 British travellers had flown home on chartered flights since the scheme was announced on March 30.
Social media users on Twitter have expressed their frustration at the cost of the repatriation flight tickets.
One user said: “Thousands still stranded in SA including kids and elderly due to the extortionate price of repatriation flights, £655 from JHB and £855.
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“Normally £400 on normal flights, somebody is making a mint like Richard Branson!!”
Another said: “What’s happened to the £75m purse the government had set aside for repatriation flights, tell me this isn’t a subsidised price?”
Another said angrily: “Reasonable price, this is a joke, after paying for a return flight Glasgow to Cape Town via Dubai at total cost £1500 for myself and husband, we are now expected to pay more for a single flight home, and don’t know where in the UK this will land.”
Travel expert Simon Calder replied to a user on Twitter about the extortionate prices.
“It’s a question about what is a fair price – for travellers and the taxpayer.
“Odd that some pay £250 for a flight of 6,000-plus miles, and others pay £1,000, when the UK government is organising both,” he said.
Another said on Twitter: “I should be in the UK right now. I should be home. But I’m not, because my flight from NZ to Sydney was cancelled and I couldn’t get to the next leg of my journey. WHY am I expected to pay an extortionate price for another ticket home?”