After a long await, 325 Australians (including 25 infants) have departed from New Delhi to Sydney on 5th May 2020 at 9.55 pm courtesy of privately chartered Singapore airlines flight. This repatriation flight has been organised independently by Sydney locals Arun Sharma and Vishal Sardana with support from Australian High Commission India and Australian Border Force in a joint effort to bring friends and family home safely amidst the global pandemic.
Vulnerable passengers (those with pre existing health conditions), the elderly, women with children and pregnant women were given priority to book tickets first and have been seated in locations on the aircraft which best cater to their needs.
The flight will first halt in Singapore for re-fuelling before leaving for Sydney where passengers will disembark and proceed to accomodations assigned by the Australian government for a two week mandatory quarantine period.
Passengers will be approved to board tonight’s flight after providing health declaration forms which clearly state they are fit to travel and have no symptoms which may compromise their health and the health of others. Before entering the airport, our volunteers will ensure all passengers are masked and will be provided with sanitisers and gloves.
Health screenings will also be performed which include temperature checks, only passengers who pass temperature screenings will be allowed to board the flight. An airport exit plan was also sent to passengers days before departure to ensure they are aware of social distancing protocols at Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Such repatriation flights have given many distressed Australians hope in returning to their families in a safe and efficient manner and will hopefully set a standard for essential travel during these unusual times.
Our sincere thanks to team of volunteers who teamed up with us to make this happen. This mission would not have happened with great support from the Australian government and Indian government who provided us all necessary approvals in time.