NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A special charter flight organized by the governments of Cayman, the Philippines, and the British High Commission repatriated 75 British and foreign nationals yesterday.
According to a statement, the flight from Cayman to London stopped in Nassau allowing passengers from 10 different countries to board.
“Many of the passengers on this flight arrived in The Bahamas in 2019, and had their original travel plans cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak,” the statement read.
“This flight allowed passengers able to reunite with family members in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, France, Philippines and other countries.
“This was a logistically challenging flight to arrange; it required team coordination between Cayman and The Bahamas as well as support from the Bahamian authorities to ensure the correct permissions and procedures were followed.”
British High Commissioner to The Bahamas Sarah Dickson said: “We know that this has been a challenging period for British Nationals to plan to return home. Border closures, travel restrictions, flight cancellations, and lack of commercial air traffic routes have made it difficult to fly directly from Nassau to London.
“I would like to thank everyone involved who helped this run smoothly including the Bahamian government and law enforcement officials who advised us on the rules regarding repatriation flights and especially the team at the airport who managed the process.”
According to the statement, the UK government has organised special charter flights throughout the Caribbean to get thousands of British nationals home since the COVID-19 outbreak in March.
“Priority has been given to British travelers who are vulnerable,” it read.
“This includes those over 70 and others who have medical requirements, those traveling with young children, and those located in more remote or at-risk areas.
“This flight was organised in collaboration with the Philippines Government, as after transiting in London, it went on to Manila to allow Filipino seafarers and others a route home. The flight was fully booked with passengers from Cayman and Nassau. The charter aircraft was provided by British Airways.
The statement added: “This repatriation flight required help from British Airways staff, Nassau Flight Services, the Airport Authority, and the team at Immigration and Customs.”
For more information about COVID-19 travel advice for British Nationals, see the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.
Travel advice specific to The Bahamas is available here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/bahamas.