Stranded Irish are being flown home even as airlines around the world are grounding their fleets. RollingNews.ie photo.
By Irish Echo Staff
As is the case with U.S. citizens stranded overseas because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Irish citizens have also been attempting to get back to their home island and loved ones.
But unlike the United States, which can employ a globally based and massive air force as a last resort, those wanting to get back to Ireland are having to rely on regular airlines or in some cases government charters.
Some Irish citizens who have been left stranded in Australia after a shutdown was announced on Monday, are being flown home Today, Thursday, according to thejournal.ie news website.
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It’s been confirmed that 170 Irish citizens from Perth, Australia left on a flight Wednesday afternoon, organized by the Department of Foreign Affairs, embassies in Australia, and the airline Qantas, the report stated.
This group, which includes a group of Irish medics, will travel through the UK before arriving back in Ireland Thursday.
The report stated that Department of Foreign Affairs is recommending that any Irish citizens in Australia who have not already done so to contact the Irish Embassy in Canberra or Consulate General in Sydney.
The Department said that it is leaving “no stone unturned” in its efforts to assist over 2,000 Irish citizens who are stranded abroad in 86 due to countries closing their borders and flights being grounded because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The journal.ie report, citing a DFA spokesperson, stated that a majority of Irish citizens are stranded in Australia with a “couple of hundred” in New Zealand. Around 100 Irish citizens are stranded in Peru. The Irish government plans to send a chartered flight to pick them up.
There are other citizens, in smaller groups, left stranded in countries such as Thailand and Argentina.
The Irish government is urging citizens to book a flight on the little remaining commercial flights, where possible. Other efforts will be made for citizens who are left stranded in countries where there already is a shutdown, the report added.