A LATAM repatriation flight, chartered by the Australian government, conducted a “sweep” of Peru on Thursday, collecting 280 passengers from Lima, Cusco and Iquitos.
It is scheduled to land in Melbourne on Friday morning.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne also confirmed an additional Qantas flight will depart Peru on Monday, 13 April, with other trips being planned to India and the Philippines.
In recent weeks, she says, more than 280,000 Australians have returned home from abroad.
Minister Payne said, “The Australian government is also assisting by ensuring that these flights have the necessary clearances and approvals in countries where Australian airlines normally don’t fly. Some of this is new for Qantas so we are assisting with that process.
“Australians are paying for those tickets themselves, where there is a great difficulty or a real difficulty for Australians to afford those flights, we have of course encouraged them to engage with friends, engage with family. We also do have provision for traveller emergency loans.”
She also confirmed plans are in place to help those stuck in India, where a lockdown has recently been put in place.
“There are tens of thousands of Australians in India at any one time, many of them long-term residents of course. We are actively trying to identify options for a commercial charter flight.”
Previously, the government worked with travel company Chimu Adventures to lay on flights to Peru and Uruguay, but faced criticism when it emerged some passengers paid more than $5,000 for an economy ticket, and twice that for business.
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