ISLAMABAD - The United Kingdom yesterday an­nounced nine more government-char­tered flights to bring back its nationals from Pakistan.

Almost 5,000 British travellers in Pa­kistan are to be brought home to the UK following the announcement of a further nine government-chartered flights, said a statement issued here by the British High Commission.

These will include the first UK char­ter flight from Karachi, which will de­part on April 30, in addition to further departures from Islamabad and Lahore.

“Around 2,500 people have already booked on to the ten government char­ter flights that are taking place between April 21 – 27. This second phase of flights announced will carry more than 2,250 travellers,” said the statement.

The new flights are: 30 April: Karachi to London, Islamabad to Manchester, 1 May: Lahore to London, Islamabad to Manchester, 2 May: Islamabad to Man­chester, Lahore to Manchester, 4 May: Islamabad to London and 5 May: La­hore to Manchester, Islamabad to Man­chester.

There has been a huge demand for these flights, with seats for Lahore and Islamabad now being allocated to those already registered via the govern­ment’s online booking website - CTM.

The portal is now open for those who would like to book on the Karachi flight. Anyone who would like to return to the UK from Karachi should register their interest on the portal as future flights will be based on waitlists.

FCO Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ah­mad of Wimbledon, said: “Thousands more British nationals in Pakistan will now be able to fly home following the an­nouncement of these nine extra flights, which include our first from Karachi. They will join more than 10,500 people who will have already flown home from Pakistan on commercial options and more than 2,500 on charter flights.”

British High Commissioner to Paki­stan, Christian Turner, said: “More than 10,500 people have returned home by commercial routes since airspace in Pakistan closed, and by Monday we ex­pect that a further 2,500 British Na­tionals will have flown back to the UK on our first 10 charter flights.

He added: “We know there is more to do, and I’m pleased that there will be a further nine chartered flights next week; eight from Islamabad and Lahore; and one from Karachi to London Heathrow.”

The envoy said; “As we start the holy month of Ramazan, a time for people to reunite with their families and a time for reflection, I am glad that travellers will be able to make it home and be with their loved ones at this special time.