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Qantas to fly Australians out of Israel

written by Jake Nelson | October 11, 2023

Victor Pody shot this Qantas 787, VH-ZNJ, in special Qantas 100 livery
Victor Pody shot this Qantas 787, VH-ZNJ, in special Qantas 100 livery.

The federal government has organised Qantas repatriation flights for Australians in Israel to begin this week.

The first two flights will depart Tel Aviv for London on Friday, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese saying on Wednesday afternoon that his government is assisting the departure of those Australians who want to leave Israel as fighting continues with Hamas militants.

It is estimated that around 12,000 Australian citizens are currently in Israel, though many are believed to be dual citizens and may not want to flee the country.

“We understand that many Australians are experiencing difficulties with delays and cancellations with commercial flights,” the Prime Minister said.

“For Australians who do not already have plans to leave through commercial options, Australian government-assisted departure flights will depart from Friday. I want to thank Qantas for making their facility available for flights to travel from Ben Gurion Airport to London.


“Australians who want to leave Israel on our assisted departure flights must register with the Australian government’s 24-hour consular emergency centre.”

In a statement, Qantas said it would use 787s for the repatriation flights and take on operational costs.

“Details of the flights are being finalised with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, but it is expected a Boeing 787 Dreamliner will operate from Tel Aviv, Israel to London in the coming days (subject to ongoing safety and security assessments, and regulatory approvals in several countries). The operational costs will be absorbed by Qantas,” the airline said.

“Arrangements for onward flights for those wanting to travel back to Australia are still being worked through.

“The sudden nature of these rescue flights will mean disruption for some customers on our international network, who we’ll contact directly. We’re working to minimise the impact as much as possible and appreciate their understanding.”

Qantas and Virgin Australia confirmed on Wednesday that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) had been in contact regarding repatriation flights.

Neither Qantas nor Virgin offer direct flights to Israel under normal circumstances, though Qantas codeshare partners including Emirates and El Al, and Virgin partners including Etihad, fly to Tel Aviv.

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Comments (2)

  • Despite my many criticisms of QF when the you know what hits the fan eg TLV, what comes out of the clouds is the great big red rat to retrieve some stability and you can bet the crew are all volunteers too. I am sure we are all proud of you, cheers, you are Ozzzies!!!!

  • Richard Daniell


    If Qantas is absorbing the costs of these flights why then is Albo claiming “my government” has organised these flights, which suggests it’s all his idea and at the governments expense.

    Qantas has a long history of doing flight repatriations at no cost to passengers, I was on one from Bali years ago following the volcano eruption, my flight was manned by volunteer Qantas staff, with Qantas paying for it, all at no cost to me.

    Qantas need to be credited here, not the headline grabbing PM.

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