Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 15: The first flight from locked-down Kerala to UK took off on Wednesday evening, facilitating the return of 268 tourists who had been stranded in south India since the corona pandemic put a check on public transportation.
The chartered British Airways plane left the state capital at 7.30 pm, with London as the destination and Kochi as a stopover to pick 158 passengers. As many as 110 tourists boarded from here.
The passengers include seven who had tested positive for Covid-19 and were treated successfully in Kochi. They were part of a group of 19 Britons.
Mr Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, Deputy High Commissioner, British Deputy High Commission, Bengaluru, was at the Kochi airport, supervising the repatriation operations. Out of the 268 tourists, there are a few from Austria, Canada, Portugal, Ireland, Lithuania etc.,
The spread of Covid-19 had led Kerala to impose a state-wide shutdown on March 23. The next day, the Union government announced a similar exigency across the country for three weeks and subsequently till May 3. (UNI)