The federal government expects Australians who have been stranded for months to return to the country on 20 flights in the next few months.
Acting Secretary of State Simon Birmingham announced the plan to house more Australians on a flight from Saturday 31 January to 31 March.
He told Sydney’s 2GB radio on Sunday that the actual number of passengers would depend on the segregation system at that time.
There are special arrangements for activating additional sites for the Northern Territory, ACT and Tasmania to take these people on 20 flights.
The decision to reduce the cap on foreign passengers due to specific restrictions on NSW, Queensland and Western Australia has been agreed in the Australian National Cabinet after Emirates Airlines withdrew services from the previous coast.
Senator Birmingham said, “However, the capabilities that the UAE had will be transferred back to other airlines, Qatar, Singapore and others that are still flying under the cap.”
“And importantly, these 20 privileged flights will be taken over by the government and will go up and down the cap.”
Senator Birmingham, who is also finance minister, hopes passengers on government flights will contribute to their travels.
“It doesn’t cover the full cost of the flight, but we hope that people will basically contribute to the purchase of air tickets,” he said.
“Of course, there are situations where we can acknowledge exceptional cases of difficulty or hardship or otherwise. We have already distributed about 15 15 million in distress payments to vulnerable Australians abroad. “
Seats will be given priority to people with special needs where possible.
“So obviously, in all parts of the world where there are large numbers of Australians, where it’s difficult considering the COVID situation, historically we’ve seen a lot of these convenience aircraft come in,” he said.
“So the United Kingdom, occasionally some parts of Europe, India and I would hope that most of them would still be in the same national countries.”
There are about 3,000,000 Australians registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who want to return to the country.