Qantas and Virgin will resume limited international flights to Australia from London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Auckland after agreeing to a repatriation deal with the government.
The services, thought to be subsidised, will run over the next four weeks and will include freight capacity for imports and exports.
Both Qantas and Virgin Australia groups suspended all international flights from the end of March due to the coronavirus crisis.
There is currently no specific information on which airlines will operate which routes, or their frequency.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said, “Many Australians will be able to get to one of these four destinations. They can do so knowing there will be an Australian airline to get them home.
“Where there are no commercial options available, the government will consider supporting, on a case-by-case basis, non-scheduled services to other overseas destinations.
“We are continuing our constructive discussions with Qantas and Virgin on flights to less accessible destinations, including South America and the Pacific.”
The news will come as a relief to Australians attempting to return home after three of the major transport hubs facilitating trips, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Singapore, all suspended transit.
However, all passengers landing in Australia are still required to undertake a 14-day isolation period in a hotel – with the Defence Force checking people comply with the measures.
On Friday, Australian Aviation reported that the German government chartered an Air New Zealand 777-300 to repatriate citizens, which departed from Auckland bound for Frankfurt via Vancouver.
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Four pilots and 12 cabin crew operated the Auckland-Vancouver leg, before a full replacement crew finished the journey.
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