Qantas confirms repatriation flights from Israel starting Friday

Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner against the blue sky, the plane approaches Heathrow Airport on a beautiful sunny day.

The government has announced that Qantas will run at least two repatriation flights from Israel to help Australians leave amid ongoing conflict.

The flights from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport will head to London free of charge for Australians that don’t already have plans to leave through other options, according to The Guardian. Qantas will absorb the costs of these flights.

Flights will be “starting Friday” according to the government, however specific details are being finalised between Qantas and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

“For Australians who do not already have plans to leave through commercial options, Australian government-assisted departure flights will depart from Friday,” Albanese told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Qantas plans on flying Boeing 787 Dreamliners, pending approval from several countries on safety and security assessments.

“Arrangements for onward flights for those wanting to travel back to Australia are still being worked through,” an airline spokesperson said.

Qantas does not operate direct flights from anywhere in Australia to Israel so the airline has noted that using planes for these services will impact customers booked on other foreign flights.

Earlier this week, the national carrier responded to reports that it was charging exorbitant fees to flee Israel, outright denouncing them.

“Some customers have booked flights to and from Israel on our partner airlines via Qantas.com. All of these customers can get a refund if they no longer wish to fly or we will waive the change fees if they want to move flights. This is subject to seat availability on other flights,” the airline wrote in a statement.

“Customers who are trying to leave Tel Aviv and are having difficulties with flights can contact us to discuss alternatives.”

Virgin Australia has reportedly been contacted by DFAT regarding repatriation flights as the transport minister Catherine King looks to “convey the government’s sense of urgency and ask them to work with DFAT on options for repatriation flights”.

(Featured Image: Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – iStock/Nirian)

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