Home Department written question – answered on 14 January 2010.

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Photo of Clare Short Clare Short Independent Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many charter flights removing persons with no right to stay in the UK there have been in 2009; what the destination was of each such flight; how many individuals were removed on such flights; and what the cost to the public purse of such flights was.

Photo of Phil Woolas Phil Woolas Minister of State (the North West), Home Office, Minister of State (the North West), HM Treasury, Minister of State (the North West), Regional Affairs

The following figures show the total number of charter flights conducted by the UK Border Agency for the purpose of removing those with no right to remain in the United Kingdom, and the total number of individuals removed on those flights, from l January to 8December 2009.

Number of flights-64

Number of persons removed-1,973

These figures do not constitute part of National Statistics as they are based on internal management information. The information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols and should be treated as provisional and subject to change.

In 2009 (to 8 December), charter flights were conducted to the following destination countries:



Democratic Republic of Congo





However, the UK Border Agency is unable to disclose the number of flights to each destination country, as this information is confidential for operational reasons.

The UK Border Agency keeps records of the overall annual costs of charter flights by financial year. Figures for the financial year 2009-10 are not yet available, as they are subject to audit and may therefore change; however, for the financial year 2008-09, the cost of charter flights was £8,227,553.38.

The Home Office also publishes statistics on the number of persons who were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK on a quarterly and annual basis. Annual statistics for 2008 and the latest statistics for Q3 2009 are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at:

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John Catley
Posted on 15 Jan 2010 11:47 am (Report this annotation)

I must be missing something here!
1973 people on 64 charter flights = 30 or 31 per flight.
1973 people costing £8,227,553 = £4,170 per person

Would it not be cheaper to send them back in business class? or is the aircraft filled with escorts on a jolly