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Montevideo’s COVID-19 Repatriation Flight

Montevideo’s COVID-19 Repatriation Flight
May 21, 2020 Adagold Aviation

Adagold was pleased to assist with a delicate and complex repatriation flight from Montevideo in April this year. Like many other cruise ships around the world, the virus-stricken Australian cruise ship, Greg Mortimer, had its Antarctic adventure cruise cut short due to COVID-19. Passengers were in a precarious position in the waters off South America as the number of cases onboard escalated.

With attempts to dock in various ports being denied, Aurora Expeditions had been trying to repatriate their guests for many days, and the situation was becoming quite dire. Aurora desperately sought a solution as various ports denied them access to the dock which meant connecting flights could not be organised. In the words of Justin Ewin from Aurora, “it was the most stressful experience ever faced; to find a solution as borders closed and the situation worsened”.

As other options shut-down and made it difficult to coordinate a reprieve, Adagold was contacted to step-up and assist. As soon as the situation came to our attention, Adagold was focused on finding a solution as quickly as possible. The team assisted with finding the right aircraft, an Airbus A340, to return 112 passengers, including 12 from New Zealand and the remainder from Australia. Justin said that “Phil from Adagold was amazing, like Moses parting the sea like a shining light”. The entire operation proved to be extremely complex and elaborate requiring very special management and operational considerations. There was a timely urgency to find a suitable solution, as the flight included 80 COVID-19 positive passengers on board. The flight needed to successfully repatriate those who were unwell and protect the remaining passengers and crew from infection.

Stringent measures were set in place to guarantee a speedy and safe flight for all passengers and crew. The transfer process was required once the vessel was granted the right to dock by the government of Uruguay. Upon the flight landing in Melbourne, all passengers were required to isolate for a further two weeks in order to contain any further outbreak. We are glad to report there has been no further infection as a result of this very sensitive repatriation flight.

Adagold is incredibly proud to have been able to assist in the detailed organisation and execution of this particular flight delivering passengers back home in an unprecedented situation. Our team worked around the clock to make the process as seamless and efficient as possible and could not have done it without our partners in the aviation industry.

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