Special flight to take Australians home

By Nguyen Quy   May 6, 2020 | 04:00 am PT
Special flight to take Australians home
=A Vietnam Airlines aircraft taxis on a runway at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Shutterstock/Duc Huy Nguyen.
The Australian Embassy and Vietnamese authorities are cooperating to organize a commercial flight to take stranded Australian citizens home Thursday night.

Flight VN773, operated by national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, will depart from the Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC at 8:45 p.m. (local time), the embassy said on its official Facebook page.

Tickets will cost from VND18.452 million ($785) each.

All foreign travelers have been banned from entering Australia mid-March onwards in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Australia has reported nearly 7,000 infections and 97 deaths.

Australians are allowed to return from overseas, but they have to quarantine themselves for 14 days.

Vietnam suspended international flights on March 25 to contain the spread of Covid-19, leaving thousands of foreigners stranded.

Over 3,000 foreign tourists are stuck in Vietnam, but only 11 percent of them wish to go home immediately, according to official statistics updated last month. Several flights have repatriated hundreds of citizens from Europe and Southeast Asia.

Vietnam received 92,000 Australian visitors in the first three months of this year, down 15 percent year-on-year.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected 212 countries and territories, with almost 259,000 deaths reported so far.

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