Operators said charter flights available to bring stuck and desperate Australians home were rejected by the Morrison government. New Daily..
Since June, the federal government has refused to let Australians get stuck on their return flights to Australia after they have been chartered here to attract foreigners.
Melbourne-based travel agency Guara Travel charters an average of two weekly flights to airlift Indians stuck from Australia.
“We hold eight charter flights from Australia to India each month,” said Abhishek Sonthalia, Managing Director of Guara.
These charter flights will return to India with passengers from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. This means that their return trip could take Australians to reunion with friends and family.
The allegation is that the Morrison government, which promised to keep Australians stuck at home by Christmas, promised to organize another 20 flights on Saturday to gather some of the 37,000 Australians abroad.
The move comes after the airline Emirates has stated that it will suspend all flights to and from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The sudden announcement of Emirates has frustrated hundreds of Australians as their hopes of going home have been shattered.
However, Guara Travel claims that hundreds of Australians can be taken home in the coming months only if the government accepts what Sontalia said as a long-standing offer. I will.
Sontalia said he has sent multiple requests to the Interior Ministry since June asking if he could use air flights to transport Australians.
The offer was repeatedly rejected, he said, adding that he had organized 35 charters so far.
“We have countless hours to apply for permission to do the same. [for Australians, as for Indians] But it has always been denied, “he said.
The Ministry of Interior and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) did not respond New Daily Questions before the deadline.
Guara Travel plans to fly from January to February, and Sonthalia said, “It’s easy to convert charters so people can travel in both directions.”
Pregnancy without a way home
Emirates’ sudden decision to cancel the flight on Saturday was in response to the federal government’s significant cuts in arrival slots.
The decision to reduce arrivals means that the number of Australians allowed to re-enter their hometown will be reduced from 6,700 to just 4,200 per week.
Christie Charmant, who is pregnant and faces a narrow window that allows her to fly safely from the United Arab Emirates, said her husband has recently become redundant.
The couple was booked on one of Emirates’ currently canceled flights.
“I’m 42 years old and I’ve been pregnant with twins for 15 weeks,” she said. TND..
“My Dubai residence visa and medical insurance will expire on February 8th.
“We are overwhelmed by the new cap [on international arrivals] To say the least, we are in a really tough position right now and don’t know what to do. “
Health insurance is too expensive for them to stay in the UAE-recently, one ultrasound costs a couple $ 600-so they are desperately looking for alternatives.
One measure of their despair is that they are considering flying to New Zealand in the hope that they will be one step closer to their hometown of Perth.
“I need to travel until mid-March, so unless a miracle happens, the latest government cap has almost stopped the possibility of us going home in time,” Charman said. It was.
Greg Bamber, an aviation expert at Monash University, warned that more flights could be cut in the coming weeks as airlines meet government limits on arrival.
“More airlines may stop flying to Australia unless the federal government is more willing to help airlines to return Australians,” said Professor Bamber.
He said the airline was devastated by the pandemic and the government closing the border and limiting the number of passengers.
“Internationally, in contrast to Australia, other governments have done much more to assist airlines and their workers during the pandemic,” said Professor Bamber.
The government’s cap on international arrivals separated several families for most of the year.
Scott Watkins is also stuck in Manila.
When Prime Minister Scott Morrison called on the Australians to go home, Watkins was in the midst of a three-month blockade in the Philippines, so he couldn’t even leave.
He was supposed to fly to Cathay Pacific, but canceled his flight because of the cap.
Now he has to wait 30 days for a refund so he can afford to book a new flight.
Money is a problem, my health is a problem, and I’m very stressed, “Watkins said.
“I was really disappointed.”
Watkins is mentally prepared for the fact that he may not be able to go home because of his fears. Meanwhile, he is making Australian custard to prevent homesickness.
“Everything less than 12 months is a bonus,” he said. “What do I do? I can’t go home.”
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