COVID-19

Aussies willing to pool cash for $155,000 flight from Bali

A repatriation aircraft from Bali to Darwin is being organised by Perth man Leo South at a cost of $US115,000. ($A155,427). He made a call out on social media to pull together a group of Australians prepared to pay huge amounts to get home. Within minutes of posting, he was inundated with frantic Aussies wanting to get out of Bali.Only 50 passengers will be allowed on the Boeing 737, and Mr South has asked that stranded Aussies apply only if they are ready to leave immediately.“We have 52 people on the list and I have sent this to Indo Air hoping for a response on whether this amount would be possible … if Australian Border Force plays ball,” Mr South wrote.Mr South’s desperate call out triggered a deluge of Aussies wanting to retreat from their tropical island residence.Panic is beginning to set in as one member of the group, Sammuel Ong, announced that Darwin was closed to private jets, only allowing military planes to fly in until at least August.Mr South and Mr Ong are working in tandem to establish repatriation protocols with the Australian Embassy in Bali.“People who are willing to go on this flight should try to pressure the Embassy or Canberra so at least they know that we are willing and desperate to go back,” Mr Ong wrote.Queenslander Amy McGill said that she is ‘so keen to get home soon,’ while Wren Lewis from Townsville also put herself on the list.Melbourne expat Rachel Hamilton Greig – who has lived in Bali since 2015 – and her three children Sonny, 12, Tex, 9, and Lola, 7, are on the list.“It’s hard to not feel abandoned by the Australian government when so many people have been trying to get home, many for well over a year. And now it seems that being vaccinated doesn’t even help,” Ms Hamilton Grieg said.She said that even you have $15,000 for a seat on an aircraft there is little hope of getting home.“My father is very unwell and it seems almost impossible to get back to Australia. There are no flights and cases of Covid are so high,” she said.One Australian is fighting for her life in a rural Balinese hospital with suspected Covid or pneumocystis pneumonia.Long-time Bali expat and naturopath AnnaMaree Dowling was rushed to hospital after being found on the floor of her villa near Ubud after concerned family raised the alarm that she was missing.Whitney-Jade Chatfied, Ms Dowling’s daughter, has launched a Go Fund Me page to finance a medical evacuation of her mother to her home to Melbourne.“We really want to give her the best chance of pulling through and recover and believe she will have a better chance here with us in Melbourne,” Ms Chatfield wrote on the page.

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