More than 3,000 stranded Brits will be brought home from India on 12 government-chartered flights. 

They follow seven flights that were already arranged between Wednesday and Sunday this week, and will take the total number of UK nationals repatriated from India to around 5,000.

A £75 million operation to charter flights from destinations where commercial routes have been severed due to the coronavirus pandemic was launched by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office last week.

Thousands more Brits are to be repatriated from India, like these, pictured at Goa airport earlier this week

Thousands more Brits are to be repatriated from India, like these, pictured at Goa airport earlier this week

Thousands more Brits are to be repatriated from India, like these, pictured at Goa airport earlier this week

But efforts to bring people home from India have previously been criticised by travellers complaining about lengthy waiting lists and expensive fares.

In many cases, passengers are being charged up to £1,000 a head to get seats.     

The new flights will leave from Goa, Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram between April 13 and April 20, with bookings opened today.

The Foreign Office’s Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, said: ‘We are doing all we can to get thousands of British travellers in India home.

‘This is a huge and complex operation which also involves working with the Indian government to enable people to move within India to get on these flights.

Efforts to bring people home from India have previously been criticised by travellers complaining about lengthy waiting lists and expensive fares

Efforts to bring people home from India have previously been criticised by travellers complaining about lengthy waiting lists and expensive fares

Efforts to bring people home from India have previously been criticised by travellers complaining about lengthy waiting lists and expensive fares

‘Over 300 people arrived from Goa on Thursday morning, 1,400 more will arrive over the Easter weekend, and these 12 flights next week will bring back thousands more.’

The Foreign Office said India is one of its priority countries for arranging charter flights, along with South Africa and Peru, due to the large number of Britons seeking to return.

Last weekend, a chartered plane touched down at Heathrow after picking up tourists famous beaches in goa La Paz, Bolivia and the Ecuadorian cities of Quito and Guayaquil.

It came just hours after the London airport sparked fury by announcing it will keep one of its runways open.

Despite the Foreign Office’s best efforts, hundreds of thousands of others around the world are struggling to return to the UK due to travel restrictions put in place following the Covid-19 outbreak. 

British ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce issued a video message earlier this week urging people to take advantage of the 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.’