The Massive Cost Of Charter Flights Revealed


Key Points

  • From 2020 to October 2022 the government spent almost £31.2 million on charter flights to remove 3,489 foreign offenders at an average cost of £8,940 per head.
  • To remove the 82,500 who have illegally crossed the Channel in small boats from 2020 to 2022 by charter flight would cost nearly three quarters of a billion pounds at an average cost of £8,940 per head. If we add those who came via this route in 2019, it would exceed £750,000,000.
  • In 2021, 46 per cent of enforced returns from the UK were returned via charter flight. Comparing 2022 to October against returns data up to September (the latest available) indicates 42 per cent of returns happening by charter flight.

Figure 1: Charter flights 2020 to 2022 to October

Year2022 to October20212020
Total cost of charter flights£11,165,423£11,827,125£8,200,000
Total returnees1,3561,305828
Total number of flights546547
Average flight cost£206,767.09£181,955.77£174,468.09
Average cost per returnee£8,234.09£9,062.93£9,903.38
Average returnees per flight252018

Figure 2: 2022 projected full year

 2022 (full year projection)2022 projection vs 20212022 projection vs 2020
Total cost of charter flights£13,398,507+13%+63%
Total returnees1,627+25%+96%
Total number of flights650%38%


Figures for 2021 and 2022 are from FOI 72367 fulfilled by Immigration Enforcement.

Full year projection for 2022 is based on the average for figures provided for 2022 to October.

6th January 2023 - Enforcement

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