5,000 Australians stranded in the UK, India and South Africa will be rescued on Qantas flights with vulnerable passengers offered to buy tickets first – and they’ll have to pay $2,500 for their own quarantine
Up to 5,000 Australians stranded in the UK, India and South Africa are set to be brought home with Qantas flights to Darwin under a federal government plan.
About 1,000 Aussies a month from November until March will be brought home under the scheme.
Most of them will do their 14-day quarantine in the Northern Territory’s Howard Springs facility at a cost of $2,500 each.
About 1,000 Aussies a month are expected be flown on about eight Qantas charter flights to an RAAF base
Qantas will charge Aussies for their tickets but 4,000 vulnerable Aussies will be given priority access.
‘Qantas has the priority list of vulnerable passengers who are in the UK that get the first opportunity at those seats on those flights,’ the Prime Minister said.
‘Our High Commission there is contacting all of those individuals and giving them the opportunity, through Qantas, to be on those flights so they can return.’
They will be offered loans or cash grants if they cannot pay.
Speaking on Thursday in Cairns, Scott Morrison said he expected more Aussies to be able to return home within weeks.
‘There have been extensive preparations undertaken and we’re in the final stages of concluding those arrangements,’ he said.
‘We’ve been working now for some months as we’ve been getting more and more Australians home, particularly those in vulnerable situations.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Qantas for comment.
About 30,000 Australians stranded overseas and have been unable to return home due to arrival caps imposed at the request of state governments.
Out of 4,000 vulnerable Australians identified in September, only 1,000 have returned.
Thousands of Australians stranded in the UK and India will be brought home with Qantas flights to Darwin. They will quarantine at Howard Springs (pictured)