Around 780 Australians in Indonesia are scheduled to be repatriated in mid-August to avoid the Covid-19 crisis.
On Saturday (31/7), the Australian Financial Review newspaper reported that the Kangaroo Country expatriate network in Indonesia has been busy hustling to determine who shall be prioritized for repatriation as soon as possible on Qantas Airlines flights.
The plan is for flights to repatriate Australians in Indonesia from Denpasar, Bali.
“The flight is scheduled to depart Denpasar on August 18, and is pending final approval. We will continue to pursue various means to repatriate Australians,” said an unnamed Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson.
The repatriation plan is good news for Australians trapped in Indonesia. Not all of Aussie citizens can afford to spend large amounts to pay for charter flights with soaring prices.
Repatriating Australians using Qantas flights is not free. Passengers are required to pay a fare of just under AU$ 1000 (approximately Rp. 10.6 million) for a one way flight.
The price is still much cheaper than Garuda Indonesia fares, which was initially set at around US$ 2000 (~Rp. 28 million) and then increased to US$ 5,000 (~Rp. 72 million) per passenger. This caused the Western Australian state government to cancel plans to repatriate its citizens from Indonesia.
According to reports, Garuda Indonesia has again increased the fare for chartered flights for one passenger to US$ 8000 (~Rp115 million) per person.
Some Australians have gone so far as to charter a boat from Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara to return from Indonesia due to their concerns.
The travel time by sea from Kupang to Darwin, Australia is approximately 67 hours.