More Australians who are currently stuck overseas will soon be able to come home with charter flights being put on and a quarantine facility in the Northern Territory being expanded.
Qantas will operate eight services over the next six weeks to and from London, New Delhi and Johannesburg with the airline expected to announce further destinations in coming weeks.
These flights will allow an extra 1315 Australians to return home, with priority to be given to the most vulnerable.
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“Qantas has the priority list of vulnerable passengers who are in the UK that get the first opportunity at those seats on those flights,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.
“Our High Commission there is contacting all of those individuals and giving them the opportunity, through Qantas, to be on those flights so they can return.”
Passengers will be slugged $2150 for the one-way flight from London, $1750 from Johannesburg and $1500 from New Delhi.
It will be the first international services operated by Qantas since June.
“As the national carrier, this is something we are proud to do,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.
“Since the pandemic started, we’ve operated over 100 international flights to bring Australians home with the government’s support.”
All passengers will be flown to Darwin where they will quarantine for 14 days at the Howard Springs facility.
The Federal Government has struck a deal with the Northern Territory Government to extend the use of the facility until at least the end of March.
It’s expected that will allow an additional 5000 Australians to return home in that time.
Mr Morrison says it will be on top of the current hotel quarantine arrangements and the recent increase in caps on international arrivals.
“Which means we’re getting more and more, and more Australians home every week. Now we’re also being able to supplement that with this additional facility.”
The Qantas flights are scheduled to depart London on October 19, November 4 and November 8.
Flights from New Delhi will depart on October 25, November 9, November 23 and November 27.
Details on flights from Johannesburg are still being finalised.