The U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) noted that there had been no "uncontrolled landings" involved.
The MoD slammed Russia for its "illegal and unprovoked" invasion of Ukraine as thousands of refugees made their journey during another historic year for illegal migration in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.
Last year, over 28,000 migrants reached England by boat, up from only 8,400 in 2020, even as the U.K. claims migrants who travel through safe countries such as France will not be allowed to seek refuge in England.
Only a small fraction of Channel migrants ever get deported.
The English Channel is one of the most dangerous and busiest shipping lanes in the world, with many migrants coming from the poorest and most chaotic parts of the world. Many ask to claim asylum once they are picked up by U.K. authorities.
In an attempt to deter people from making the dangerous journey across the channel, the government signed an agreement with Rwanda to deport migrants in April. This is for the asylum seekers to process their claims.
However, the numbers crossing the Channel continued to rise since the announcement of the policy, with the plan widely condemned by charities and campaign groups, which launched a series of legal challenges, leading the policy to be put on hold until the decision is reached in the courts.
The first flight, which was due to take off last June 14, was grounded amid the legal snafu.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the government still wants to go ahead with the plan, adding that it was her "dream" to see the first flight leave for Rwanda. She also noted that she was seeking asylum partnerships with other countries as well.
Braverman also talked about the need for closer cooperation with France as well as an increased police presence on the French coastline with the use of drones to monitor crossings.
A government spokesperson said the continued rise of dangerous Channel crossing is a clear abuse of immigration laws, which risks the lives of vulnerable people while funding vile criminal gangs.
"Despite the lies [that] they have been sold by the smugglers, migrants who travel through safe countries to illegally enter the U.K. will not be allowed to start a new life here," the spokesperson said.
Migrant crossings along the Channel also caused a major political headache for the U.K., which promised tighter border controls after leaving the European Union.
Tensions have risen between London and Paris as the U.K. government accused France of not doing enough to stop the crossings.
So far, there had been over 26,000 crossings this year. But the numbers could still rise as now is the current peak time of the year for those who want to enter the U.K. through the channel.
Last month, the U.K. vowed to speed up the removal of Albanians who illegally entered the country as official statistics showed they were the largest single group making small-boat crossings. In previous years, asylum seekers were from war zones. (Related: Migrant wave is an invading army of young men, ready to pick up arms, warns journalist.)
Last year, Iranians were the biggest group, accounting for 30 percent of all small boat arrivals, followed by Iraqis, who made up 21 percent. Eritreans and Syrians made up 11 and nine percent, respectively.
In 2021, 75 percent of all small boat arrivals were men aged 18 to 39, with around five percent of the arrivals being men aged 40 or over. Seven percent were women over 18 and 12 percent were children under 18, but three-quarters of them were male.
Watch the video about the U.K. deporting asylum seekers to Africa.
This video is from the Greekinsider channel on Brighteon.com.