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‘Excited and thankful’: More chartered flights to bring back hundreds of Australians stranded in India

More chartered flights are expected to fly out of India in the coming days. Source: Supplied

Three more chartered flights are expected to fly out of India in the coming days to bring back hundreds of Australians stranded in India. A group of expats and aviation companies have privately organised these flights amid India’s coronavirus lockdown.

“We are finally content that we are now reaching home” says Barinder Singh, an Australian resident who has been stranded in India from the last month.

Mr Singh is amongst hundreds of Australian residents who will be flying on a chartered flight to Melbourne from New Delhi on April 19. The flight is scheduled to reach Melbourne on the next day.


Highlights

  • Lion Air's chartered flight will leave from New Delhi for Melbourne on April 19, fare approx $2250 per passenger
  • All passengers set to undergo mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine
  • More flights planned from Mumbai, Chennai for Adelaide

This flight, operated by Indonesian private airline, Lion Air, will be the third leg of Australia’s repatriation operation to bring Australian residents from India in recent weeks.

All passengers on this flight will have to undergo the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine in Melbourne before they can leave for their homes.

Mr Singh and his wife, residents of Sydney, had gone to India due to a death in their family.

“I am very excited and thankful to Mr Simon Quinn and his team who helped to organise these repatriation services," says Mr Singh.

“We received all sorts of information from the Facebook page ‘Australians Stuck in India’. I paid $2266 for this flight, which I consider quite reasonable, given we are dealing with this travel crisis," he says.

This amount is in addition to the bus fare and hotel expenses for one day’s stay in New Delhi, he adds.

Barinder Singh
Barinder Singh is flying on a chartered flight to Melbourne from New Delhi on April 19.
Supplied

Mr Singh said he is not thinking about the costs as getting back home is his top priority at the moment.  

“Our two children are with my brother and sister-in-law in Sydney. They are desperate to have mum and dad back,” says an emotional Mr Singh over the phone from India.

The Australian High Commission has tied up with a local bus company in India, KTC, to ferry passengers from various cities across India.

“The Australian High Commission informed us via email that a KTC bus will pick up the passengers in Punjab from three designated pick-up points: Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana and reach New Delhi for the flight to Melbourne,” added Mr Singh.

He also mentioned that the Australian High Commission had issued letters that will act as movement or curfew passes to enable each passenger to reach these pick-up points.

Mr Singh advises that people interested to fly back to Australia should register their interest with the Australian High Commission and they may also get 'much-needed' information from the Facebook page: Australians Stuck in India. 

More such flights from Chennai and Mumbai are expected to reach Adelaide in the coming days.

It is understood that these charter flights are privately organised by an Australian company, Stratos Group Aviation with the help of another charter company Monarc Global that organises an online booking system.

For more information, listen to the podcast in Punjabi by clicking the player inside the picture at the top.

As the situation is fast-changing, SBS Punjabi does not vouch for the accuracy of the information provided in this interview. Please check the Australian High Commission's website for all the updates. 

Coronavirus symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia, according to the Federal Government's website. Symptoms can include a fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

If you develop symptoms within 14 days of returning from overseas, you should call to seek medical attention.

If you don’t have symptoms but you have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, you should also call to seek medical attention.

If you believe you may need to get tested, call your doctor, don’t visit. Or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

Listen to SBS Punjabi Monday to Friday at 9 pm. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter 

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