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COVID-19: Repatriation flights from India to re-start May 15

COVID-19: Repatriation flights from India to re-start May 15

There has been a major community outcry as many Australians of Indian heritage and cricket players have been stuck in the subcontinental nation since Australian suspended flights between the two countries.

Public Opinion

For many Australians, the border closures are very popular, but when the reality of divided families, stranded children, and the overwhelming nature of the pandemic’s affect on the Indian – already stretched health system – maybe pubic opinion is on the move.

Well, it looks like enough to get Scotty from marketing’s ass off the bench.

a plane flying in the sky
Qantas 787

The Decision

Cabinet’s National Security Committee has endorsed a plan to repatriate Australians stranded in India once the temporary ban is lifted next week – after 15 May.

Returning Australians will be quarantined at Howard Springs in the Northern Territory – which is likely to have been emptied out by the end of this week.

The government organised and funded repatriation flights may be joined by a lifting of the ban on commercial flights also used for repatriation. We will see.

a fence with a building behind it

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

Up till the ban, Australia was funding two repatriation flights a week, each returning about 200 people. There are about 9,000 Australians stuck in India that DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) are aware of. I make that about another 45, flights required, but then my maths was always terrible. Apparently not as bad as Scotties, which is a lot scarier.

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