Sunday, 1 July 2018

UNITED KINGDOM: Virgin Atlantic Stops Forced Deportation Flights

Virgin Atlantic has said it will no longer carry out involuntary deportation flights for people deemed to be illegal immigrants.

A spokesperson for the airline said it had already informed the Home Office of its decision, which was made in the best interest of customers and people.

The decision follows months of controversy following the government over the Windrush scandal, the 70th anniversary of which is set to be marked later today by the mayor of London at an event at City Hall.

Virgin has provided seats on its flights for many years to detainees and accompanying security officers, with Jamaican charities that help to resettle deportees saying that regular arrivals came via the airline.

It was revealed in parliament last month that the government has spent £17m on commercial flights for deportation purposes between 2016 and 2017.

Activist groups have commended the airline for its decision, after groups like Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants received a yet to be published open letter from Virgin regarding the deportations.

Sam Bjorn from the group said, the fact that the company has finally opted to break with this controversial practice testifies to a profound shift in public opinion on deportation since the emergence of the Windrush scandal.

Public attention will now be turning to other airline companies like British Airways and Qatar Airways who are still involved in transporting deportees.

Tourism Observer

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