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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence
(1) how many times service personnel have been delayed returning to the UK on rest and recuperation from Afghanistan since January 2010; and what the reasons were for the delay in each case;
(2) how many times (a) military and (b) civilian personnel had extended deployments due to the unavailability of air transport to return them from Afghanistan since January 2010.
The information is not held in the format requested.
The reasons for individual travel and for each specific delay are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Delays may occur for a number of reasons and individual taskings could be delayed for more than one reason, including: Air Traffic Control and airspace restrictions; missing theatre arrival slot times; technical and equipment failures; absence of diplomatic clearance; weather; expiry of crew duty hours; passenger and ground handling issues; fuelling; and holding aircraft to facilitate deployment of priority aeromedical taskings.
Delays to flights for personnel leaving theatre do not constitute extended deployments. We do not hold information that indicates whether personnel have been delayed beyond their planned deployment end-dates.