Portuguese Hi Fly to begin repatriation flights for Europeans in China

in News · 30-01-2020 12:16:00 · 1 Comments

The Portuguese airline Hi Fly will start on Thursday, 30 January, the repatriation of European citizens from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the new coronavirus emerged, and the chartered planes should depart from Beja airport.

According to the daily Jornal de Noticias (JN), "Portuguese Hi Fly has been chartered to rescue European citizens in China," adding that the first flight "leaves Beja airport at 10am" on Thursday and is due to land in Vietnam.

A source from the crew who will be travelling on this flight has confirmed to Lusa that some crew members have been called in to participate in the flight and that the aircraft will land in Vietnam and then proceed to China.

The JN also says that the runway at Beja airport - the only airport in Portugal capable of hosting the world's largest commercial aircraft (A380) - has two more hours reserved for flights, after the departure of the first.

Lusa contacted the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defence, the Portuguese Air Force, ANA Aeroportos de Portugal and the airline Hi Fly, but was unable to confirm information on any charter flights.

JN also says that after leaving Portugal, the plane will head for France, "where about 36 passengers - including doctors and health officials - will board, and then on to Vietnam.

JN also reports that "at 11am and 3pm more Hi Fly flights may take place" with the same objective. The aircraft that is due to depart at 11am "also stops in France", but the next flight should go to Brussels, Belgium, from where it will proceed to Vietnam.

JN asked the Director General of Health, Graça Freitas, about possible support from the Portuguese health authorities, and she confirmed that the department will "send health officials to explain to the Portuguese crews what to do" in this type of operation.


Can confirm, seems risky undertaking.

By john from Porto on 30-01-2020 11:18
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