Airlines have entered into a collaboration with the Government to help fly stranded Britons home.
A huge amount of people (thought to be up to a million) have been stuck abroad as a result of travel restrictions. Their pleas to return home to their families have been widely publicised in the media.
Airline operations have reduced as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. However airlines have already flown an estimated 150,000 brits back from Spain, and large numbers from other European destinations.
During the daily Coronavirus briefing the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab unveiled the plans for airline collaboration to help stranded Britons. £75M has been budgeted to bring people back to UK soil on commercial flights, or chartersd ones if necessary.
Foreign embassies will alert any stranded British resident in their country to availabilities in flights. This will be prioritised by need so that the most vulnerable passengers (such as the elderly and those with medical and health issues) will be allocated tickets first.
Which Airlines are Signed Up?
Virgin, easyJet, Jet2 and Titan Airways have all signed up to help where they can, routes and tickets allowing. The UK flag carriers British Airways are also ready to assist. Chartered flights will be arranged by the travel company CTM when required.
There are also estimated to be at least 9,000 people stranded in New Zealand and 4,000 in Bali. This is in addition to tens of thousands more across the globe.
Other European countries and their airlines have also jumped in to help. The German embassy offered seats to stranded Britons on a flight from Indonesia at the beginning of the week.
Throughout these troubled times cabin crew on currently operating flights have been praised repeatedly for their professionalism, positive attitude and ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude.
It’s also great to see, despite all the uncertainty, these major airlines coming together in this collaborative rescue mission.