Preston man flies home from Asia after managing to book rescue flight

A Preston man who was stranded in Nepal with just £80 left has managed to obtain an emergency Government loan to fly home to the UK.

Friday, 10th April 2020, 5:00 pm

Gary Parkinson revealed he was expected to board the second of two repatriation flights organised by the British authorities to rescue people stuck in the country.

The first flight departed on Wednesday and the next, with Titan Airways, left on Friday from the capital, Kathmandu, to London Stansted.

Mr Parkinson said: “ I managed to get a government loan to pay the whacking great £800 ticket.

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Gary Parkinson

“At least I can escape.”

Nepal went into lockdown last month, with international flights stopped on March 24, and the government extended the ban on international and domestic flights until April 30 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Gary, a professional photographer, was forced to sleep in a tent during the crisis and had very little access to food or hygiene facilities.

The 53-year-old previously accused authorities of ‘profiteering’ after a British embassy e-mail advised British people it would cost £800 for a ‘rescue flight’ - almost three times the usual cost - at a time when the finances of many travellers have been depleted during the crisis.