More Australians stranded in overseas by the coronavirus crisis have been thrown a lifeline by the government which has agreed with Qantas for more mercy flights.
In a televised press conference on Thursday, Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced three rescue flights, one each from Peru, Argentina and South Africa, have been scheduled for next week.
A government sponsored flight from Peru was already scheduled to depart on Thursday, following similar flights this week to bring Australians home from Nepal and Cambodia.
Ms Payne also indicated that the government was looking into arranging rescue flights from India and the Philippines.
The flights follow last week’s announcement that the government had arranged to subsidise Qantas and Virgin Australia to run flights from London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Auckland over the next four weeks in an effort to open a route home for citizens and residents amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are getting Australians home, we are harnessing our relationships overseas, we are leveraging our fantastic network,” Senator Payne said.
The global airline industry has virtually ground to a halt as a result of the coronavirus crisis, leaving travellers around the world stranded, including thousands of Australians.