Qantas repatriation flights: Buenos Aires to Darwin to be airline's longest ever commercial flight

www.traveller.com.au
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The longest ever commercial Qantas flight is scheduled to take place next month to bring home stranded Australians, but uncertainty remains.
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The longest ever commercial Qantas flight is scheduled to take place next month as part of the federal government's repatriation flights for stranded Australians.

A Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner will fly from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Darwin non-stop on October 5, exceeding the distance of Qantas' previous longest commercial flight, from Perth to London.

The repatriation flight to bring stranded Australians home from South America will cover about 14,680 kilometres, slightly further than the non-stop Perth to London 14,498 kilometre route. It will take close to 18 hours.

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Link Argentina's borders are currently closed to non-citizens, leaving Australians in other South American countries in limbo unless they can get permission to enter. Photo: AP

Passengers arriving from Buenos Aires on October 5 will be housed in the Howard Springs quarantine facility after arriving in Darwin.

However, there are concerns as to whether Australians in other parts of South America will be able to access the flight, due to Argentina's current border restrictions, which only allow citizens and permanent residents to enter.

Joe May, an Australian in Panama, has been trying to get home for eight months and has secured a seat on the flight for $2396.

Mr May, who has lived in Panama for 18 years, decided to return to Australia after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that can't be treated in the Central American country.

After two previous commercial flights home were cancelled, Mr May's situation was becoming desperate. He registered with DFAT about a year ago and received confirmation he had secured a spot on the repatriation flight last…
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