THE GOVERNMENT through the Oversight Committee has approved more repatriation flights to bring back our nationals from overseas.
Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) Collin Beck revealed this yesterday during the weekly talk-back show.
These repatriation flights will be operated by Solomon Airlines from November through to December and January.
Mr. Beck said apart from the 2nd flight to the Philippines set for tomorrow, the government is also planning to bring home students and nationals in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and Taiwan.
Beck said there’s a flight to Auckland set for 6th December to bring in nationals from New Zealand and Taiwan.
“A planned flight is set for 6th of December to Auckland not only to bring our students and nationals working in New Zealand but also to bring our students from Taiwan who have to travel over to catch that flight,” he said.
He said there’s also one flight that will be transporting our nationals of around 175 to Australia as part of the seasonal work program.
He said those nationals will have to observe the COVID-19 protocols in Australia where they have to undergo quarantine before they start to work.
Mr. Beck said the government is also working on plans to bring around 104 students including a few of their dependence from Port Villa, Vanuatu, and also plans for another flight to bring students from Papua New Guinea.
He said the flight to Port Moresby is set for 12 of December 2020 and will also bring in 40 students from the Philippines who will have to travel to PNG in order to board that flight.
For Fiji, the government is looking at two more flights on the 27th and 28th of December to bring home our 228 students,” he said.
Beck said the second flight for the Philippines is set for the 28th of December but it will depend entirely on the status of the country in terms of COVID-19 positive cases recorded.
He said last week, two repatriation flights were conducted with the first one on the 17th November bringing in our graduating students coming from Indonesia plus other Engineers who are here to do some work on the.
Beck said the recent repatriation flight was on the 19th of this month which also uplifted some of our nationals from Kiribati as well as from Fiji with a total of 124 passengers.
By IAN M.KAUKUI