New Government charter flights will bring home the most vulnerable Britons stranded in New Zealand this week with three flights from Auckland and two from Christchurch.
People most at risk from of coronavirus will be prioritised for the flights, which will bring back over 1,500 people in total. The first flight is expected to depart on Friday 24th April and flights will continue to run every second day, with alternating departures from Auckland and Christchurch.
2,600 Brits have returned home via commercial means since the outbreak of coronavirus, thanks to the British High Commission’s work with the New Zealand Government and airlines. The UK Government has now taken the decision to charter flights because it is no longer possible to book commercial flights back to the UK.
Lord Goldsmith, Minister responsible for New Zealand, said:
We promised we would do everything we could to help get Britons home. Getting a commercial flight from New Zealand is now extremely difficult, so we are now going to bring back vulnerable British travellers on charter flights and will continue to support those who remain in the country.
British High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke said:
We are doing all we can to help British people get back home to the UK, and new charter flights will help more people – particularly the most vulnerable – to do that.
My team and I will continue to do all we can to support those who are still in New Zealand, throughout this crisis and beyond.