Published: 05th February 2021
South Australia urged to bring international students back to state on charter flights
Australia has so far registered 28,838 confirmed coronavirus cases, and the numbers of locally and overseas acquired cases in the last 24 hours were one and eight respectively
The government of South Australia (SA) has been urged to bring international students back to the state on charter flights. Chief Executive of the International Education Association of Australia Phil Honeywood recently called on SA to follow the lead of the Northern Territory (NT) to revive its international education industry, reports Xinhua news agency. The NT in November 2020 used a charter flight to bring 63 students into Darwin from Singapore.
They were the first international students to enter Australia since borders were closed in March 2020. Honeywood praised the initiative and said SA should follow suit, describing the state's current plan of having international students take seats on commercial flights not filled by returning Australians as a "lottery".
"Because the number of returning Australians is constantly changing, it becomes something of a lottery for any state government trying to pick up so-called empty seats," he said, according to News Corp Australia on Friday. "Charter flights are a viable alternative which has been proven by the NT government and perhaps we really need to have that as an option." Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, international education was worth about A$2 billion ($1.5 billion) per year to the SA economy.
James Stevens, an SA federal government MP, said the "massive" industry was in jeopardy if governments do not push ahead with plans for more international students to enter the country. Australia has so far registered 28,838 confirmed coronavirus cases, and the numbers of locally and overseas acquired cases in the last 24 hours were one and eight respectively. The death toll stood at 909.