Stranded Filipinos avail of Philippine Airlines special flight on 19 April in Melbourne International Airport. (Photo by Melbourne PCG)
19 April 2020 – Almost 500 Filipinos departed Australia this weekend to return home to the Philippines. Philippine Airlines (PAL) is flying out of major Australian cities, namely, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, through special sweeper flights on 19 April 2020 carrying 255 stranded Filipino tourists, land-based overseas Filipino workers and returning students.
MV Artania carrying 243 Filipino crew has also departed from Fremantle, Western Australia on 18 April 2020 and will head to a port in Manila where Filipino crew can disembark.
Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega said, “It was a team effort by the Philippine Embassy in Canberra and Consulates General in Sydney and Melbourne and our Labor Office. I express our appreciation to the Australian Federal Government and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, State Governments and local officials from the Department of Health and Australian Border Force for their extensive support in coordinating these simultaneous departures over the weekend.”
Consul General Ezzedin Tago in Sydney and Acting Consul General Anthony Mandap in Melbourne were at the airport to send off the Filipino passengers.
The Australian Embassy in Manila and PAL organized the flights from the Philippines that made possible the assisted departures from Australia, enabling Filipinos to return home and be with their families.
The Philippine Embassy understands that there may be many more Filipinos in Australia in need of assistance as we continue to face many challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We advise you to regularly visit the Philippine Embassy website (www.philembassy.org.au) for further advisories as we will continue to find ways to assist you in the best way we can. END