THE Maenchlochog dad of a north Pembrokeshire teenager and his friend, currently trapped in Peru, has welcomed the news from the Foreign Office that rescue flights for tourists from Peru are expected to start next week.

Earlier this week, Tim Fudge has launched an anxious plea to help return of his son, 19-year-old Oran, and his friend Tom Renny, currently trapped in the city of Cuzco by border closures and flight cancellations.

Tim has been calling for emergency flights for Oran, from Maenchlochog, and Tom, from Moylgrove, along with other UK nationals trapped there, which include Welsh language campaigner Ffred Ffransis.

In a desperate plea, he said: “We hope to enlist your support to put pressure on the UK Government and Foreign Office to urgently organise repatriation flights to bring our highly vulnerable family members and fellow citizens home.

“We believe there is only a very narrow window of opportunity to get this done before the situation deteriorates too far. Our Government has currently devolved its responsibility and primary duty of care to its citizens to the commercial airlines who have largely ceased to function and have no power or ability whatsoever to organise this task.”

Since then, a 38degrees online plea calling for the return of all British nationals has attracted nearly 40,000 supporters, with prominent politicians also taking up the call.

Peru has closed its borders and stopped all flights during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, but Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has secured permission for a UK flight from Peru, the Foreign Office has said.

Tim said: “It’s obviously a huge relief, this first bit of positive news in a week.

“However, I don’t think any of the families will be able to relax at all until our loved ones are physically home.

“A massive thank you to all those people who have helped raise the profile of this story over the last week and made a difference.

“As for Government ministers l will say thank you and better late than never. I will thank them fully when the job is done, and all our people are home.”