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Australia Initiates Free Qantas Repatriation Flights Amid Israel’s Escalating Conflict

In response to the escalating conflict in Israel, the Australian government has announced the deployment of at least two Qantas flights to facilitate the safe evacuation of its citizens from the region. 

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As the death toll continues to mount, these repatriation flights will operate free of charge for Australians who do not already have plans to leave through commercial options, with Qantas absorbing the operational costs.

The two repatriation flights will depart from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport to London, starting on Friday. 

However, precise flight details are still being finalised through cooperation between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian airline Qantas.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that “many Australians are experiencing difficulties with delays and cancellations on commercial flights.” 

These government-assisted departure flights aim to provide a reliable option for those facing challenges departing the region.

Qantas intends to operate Boeing 787 Dreamliners on this route, which can accommodate 236 passengers, subject to ongoing safety and security assessments, as well as regulatory approvals in multiple countries. 

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The airline also mentioned that arrangements for onward flights for Australians wishing to return to Australia are still under discussion.

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong announced that more repatriation flights could be organised beyond the initial two flights already announced. 

It is estimated that approximately 12,000 Australians are currently in Israel, although many may be dual nationals who might not necessarily wish to leave.

To register for Australia’s assisted-departure flights from Israel, Australians should contact the Australian Government’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre at +61 2 6261 3305 (for those calling from overseas) or 1300 555 135 (for those within Australia).

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