Malaysia Airlines has recently deployed a number of rescue flights to assist travellers wishing to return home during the current Covid-19 pandemic. These included Dutch nationals stranded in Nepal and the Philippines who were ferried out 2nd April 2020.
Both Nepal and the Phillipines have implemented stringent entry and movement restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nepal has barred the arrival and departure of all international flights to the nation till 12th April 2020. The Philippines has instituted a travel ban on all foreign nationals entering or transiting through the country.
Dutch nationals rescue flights
The Government of the Netherlands has sponsored the Malaysia Airlines operating chartered rescue flights to Kuala Lumpur for Dutch nationals. Once in KLIA, a repatriation flight operated by Dutch national carrier KLM will carry them home to Amsterdam. There are currently 4 such repatriation flights scheduled on KLM’s behalf.
Getting to KLIA
Flight MH8731 from Kathmandu arrived in KLIA 2nd April at 7.00pm, carrying 122 passengers. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft carried 5 crew. A similar flight MH8675, from arrived in KLIA from Cebu on 3rd April at 4.05pm, ferrying 54 Dutch nationals. In addition, Malaysia Airlines also collected Dutch nationals from various cities in Australia and New Zealand, to connect with the repatriation flight.
…. In this time of global emergency, we all should come together to help one another, through international cooperation and support. We have a long history with the Netherlands national carrier KLM, from partnering with them to offer flights to Australasia. We hope that this rescue operation runs smoothly, and we are glad to have played an active part in ensuring that everyone can go home to their families. Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Captain Izham Ismail
Other rescues in progress
In association with Wisma Putra, Malaysia Airlines simultaneously flew a rescue flight into Medan Indonesia. A total of 158 Malaysian citizens were repatriated, 144 of whom are students studying in Medan, Aceh and Sumatra. The passengers arrived in KLIA on 2nd April aboard MH865 at 5.50pm.
As the national carrier, Malaysia Airlines is actively involved in the repatriation of Malaysian citizens worldwide during the pandemic. Malaysia Airlines continues to operates domestic operations to connect Malaysia, despite the drop in demand, with both domestic and international operations running at a minimum level.