Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Third Indian repatriation lands in Darwin

The third of Qantas’ new batch of government-supplemented repatriation flights departed from India on Monday and landed in Darwin this morning.

Around 180 passengers are now undertaking 14 days of isolation at the Howard Springs quarantine facility.

The Boeing 787-9, VH-ZNC msn 39040, departed Delhi at 6:42pm on 23 November as flight QF112 and landed at Darwin at 7:14am on Tuesday.

The government supplemented London-Darwin flights were made possible after the federal government increased the capacity of the NT’s quarantine facility.

The use of the Howard Springs facility essentially adds another 250 spaces per week onto the nation’s controversial arrival caps, which stand at slightly over 6,000.

Critics have argued the arrival caps have hindered Australians’ ability to return home by reducing availability and increasing prices. Restrictions were first introduced in July to regulate the flow of people arriving into government quarantine facilities and have been extended multiple times.

The industry body representing international airlines previously estimated that more than 100,000 Australians are stranded abroad looking to return home, with 30,000 alone in London.

The flight from India is reported to have cost $1,000 for a ticket alongside a $2,500 charge for the time spent in isolation. Previously, 787-9s have taken those from India home on 26 October, 10 November and 23 November, with a final flight scheduled for 27 November.

24/11/20 Adam Thorn/Australian Aviation

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