Longest Ever Qantas Flight To Repatriate Stranded Australians in South America
Qantas is set to fly its longest flight next month — a record-breaking 14,680km (9,124 miles). The Qantas repatriation flight will be the airlines longest non-stop flight with a departure from Darwin, Australia and arrival in Buenos Aires, Argentina — via the South Pole.
The Australian federal government organized the repatriation flight to bring stranded Australians home who are stuck in South American since Australia closed its international borders in March 2020.
According to Executive Traveller, the Qantas repatriation flight will depart on October 5 and will fly further than the current longest non-stop flight from Perth to London. The Qantas flight between Darwin to Buenos Aires will take 18 hours.
When the passengers finally get home to Australian soil they will be housed in the Howard Springs quarantine facility. But there are concerns with the requirements of COVID testing, which is making it hard for Australian passengers to make bookings.
There are other worries regarding Australians who are stranded in other parts of South America. The flight from Buenos Aires is the only repatriation flight currently scheduled. Due to border crossing restrictions in South America, ABC News reports many Australians have voiced concerns about being able to reach the Argentinian airport in time for departure.
The Department of Foregin Affairs has assisted more than 56,000 Australians to get back home since the beginning of the pandemic. This included more than 28,300 people on 184 government-assisted flights.