Government to support a further 20 facilitated commercial flights
The Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Leader of The Nationals, Federal Member for Riverina
The Australian Government continues to prioritise helping vulnerable Australians overseas to return and will provide a further 20 commercial flights from locations around the world.
The flights will be targeted to regions of most need and which are not currently met by regular commercial options, running from January 31 to March 31.
Australians returning on these additional Government-facilitated flights will quarantine at Howard Springs and in States and Territories willing to work above the current caps, on a case by case basis.
Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Government would continue to work closely with the States and Territories to make sure the strictest procedures and protocols are followed to keep everyone safe.
“These flights will bring people back from the United Kingdom, Europe, India and other places where vulnerable Australians are most in need of assistance,” Mr McCormack said.
“Importantly, these additional flights announced today will provide some hope and relief for Australians in vulnerable situations overseas.
“The additional facilitated flights will complement scheduled commercial services arriving in our international airports, which continue to provide the main avenue for Australians to return.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said since the start of the pandemic, DFAT has supported around 39,000 people to return on more than 500 flights, including more than 12,800 on 92 government facilitated flights.
“Within the past 24 hours a government facilitated flight from London landed in Darwin with 199 Australians on board,” Minister Payne said.
“We will continue to work with commercial carriers such as Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines to support Australians to get seats, where possible, so they can return.”
The Government has facilitated 28 flights since 23 October, 2020 with 3,900 passengers arriving from destinations including London, Paris, Frankfurt, New Delhi, Chennai, Singapore, Santiago, Johannesburg and Los Angeles.
More than 446,000 Australians have returned to Australia since the Government recommended people reconsider the need to travel abroad in March last year.
The Australian Government provides 24-hour consular emergency assistance. For urgent consular assistance, contact the Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas and 1300 555 135 from within Australia.
Australians seeking travel advice should consult the Smartraveller website.
For non-urgent enquiries, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate or email firstname.lastname@example.org