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First Israel repatriation flight lands in Sydney

written by Jake Nelson | October 18, 2023

On the afternoon of Wednesday, 17 October 2023, the first Australia-assisted flight from Dubai, carrying passengers repatriation from the Israel-Hamas conflict, landed at Sydney International Airport. (Image: Alexandra Peek/DFAT)

The first repatriation charter flight bringing Australians home from Israel has arrived in Sydney.

Qatar Airways flight QR7424, on board the Boeing 777-300ER A7-BAL, touched down at around 6pm on Tuesday night having departed Dubai World Central Airport at 9:32pm local time. Of the 222 people on board the flight, 164 were Australian citizens.

Virgin Australia confirmed to Australian Aviation that it had worked with codeshare partner Qatar to arrange the flight from Dubai, and said it was leveraging its domestic network to provide onward flights from Sydney to those passengers needing further help to get home, all free of charge.

Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong said on social media it was “wonderful” to see the passengers reunited with their families, and that another assisted-departure flight was scheduled to land in Sydney from London on Wednesday.

“Subject to security conditions, we are planning a further assisted-departure flight from Tel Aviv to Dubai today. We strongly encourage Australians who want to leave to take this opportunity. As we have made clear, the situation is highly challenging and rapidly changing,” she said.


“More than 1,500 previously registered Australians have now left Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Both Emirates and Qantas are putting on A380 repatriation flights for Australians who have managed to leave Tel Aviv for Dubai and London respectively.

The RAAF and charter services have operated flights out of Tel Aviv for Australians and approved foreign nationals looking to flee the conflict zone, though Defence Minister Richard Marles warned on Tuesday that no further flights from Israel are planned.

“We believe that these flights do meet the immediate demand on the part of Australians to leave Israel. That said, we are keeping a couple of Air Force planes in the region as a contingency over the coming days,” the Minister said.

Australians in Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories who want to leave and don’t already have plans to depart should register via DFAT’s Crisis Portal or by calling the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 (from overseas) or 1300 555 135 (from within Australia).

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