Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 29 September 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: 200 Britons flown back to UK in UAE deal

More repatriation flights transiting the UAE are expected soon

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. AFP
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. AFP

More than 200 Britons stranded in Nepal have been flown home to the UK through the Emirates.

Two chartered aircraft left Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, on April 8 and April 10.

The flights were arranged as part of an agreement struck last week between the Emirates and the UK.

Under the deal, flights back to the UK are permitted to transit and refuel in the UAE on their return leg.

“The two flights from Nepal are the first to benefit from this agreement but there will be more,” a spokesman for the British embassy in the UAE said.

In mid-March, UK authorities said as many as one million British citizens could be stuck abroad after countries closed their borders to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Dominic Raab, the UK Foreign Secretary, called the scale of the operation to bring them back “unprecedented”.

“We’ve not faced challenges like this in getting people home from abroad on this scale in recent memory,” he said.

The agreement between the UK and the Emirates was signed by Khalid Belhoul, UAE Undersecretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and UK ambassador to the Emirates, Patrick Moody.

Mr Raab applauded the cooperation between the two countries, saying the virus could only be beaten by “working together”.

Updated: April 13, 2020 12:30 PM

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