More than a hundred Australians have left Bali on board a repatriation flight organised by the federal government.
The Qantas plane flew empty from Sydney to Denpasar, Bali’s capital, and took off for Darwin on Wednesday afternoon with 186 people on board, including infants and crew, an Indonesian airport official said.
“This Qantas flight is assigned for Australian citizen repatriation which will take it to Darwin,” airport public relations manager Taufan Yudhistira said on Wednesday.
Passenger Ian Young said he plans to return to Bali after seeing his family in Melbourne.
“I have not been able to see my family,” he said. “I’ll just see my family and come back to Bali quickly.”
The Australian Consulate General in Bali said the government worked in partnership with Indonesian authorities to arrange the flight for people whose planes have been cancelled or whose transit options were no longer available.
It said the government is continuing to explore ways to support citizens who want to return home.
Indonesia has been hit hard by the coronavirus, fuelled by travel during the Eid holiday in May and the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
It has recorded more than 3.8 million cases, including more than 120,000 deaths.
The surge has prompted new lockdown measures since July, particularly on Java, Indonesia’s most populated island, and on Bali.