Health and Travel Alert — Update on Air Service for Return to the United States — U.S. Embassy Port Moresby

Location:  Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu

Solomon Islands:  U.S. citizens in Solomon Islands who wish to immediately return to the United States are advised that Solomon Airlines has confirmed a one-way repatriation flight from Honiara to Brisbane on June 19.  Qatar Airways offers onward itineraries from Brisbane to the United States (Dallas and Chicago) via Doha, Qatar, the following day, June 20.

U.S. citizens who wish to take advantage of these commercial flight options—requiring an overnight stay in Brisbane—must be in possession of the following:

  • A valid Australian visa or ETA. Processing of new ETAs is suspended.  U.S. citizens who do not currently have a valid ETA are advised to apply online for a Subclass 771 transit visa.
  • An approved Queensland Travel Pass allowing the traveler to exit the Brisbane airport to complete quarantine at a designated site (usually a hotel near the airport) for the duration of transit. When applying for the Queensland Travel Pass, U.S. citizens should select the “compassionate grounds” exemption and provide the address a nearby hotel in Brisbane, recognizing that state health officials may direct you to another designated hotel.
  • An approved Australian Border Force exemption to Australia’s restrictions on transit and entry for non-Australian citizens and residents. U.S. citizens are advised to include in their request detailed information about their confirmed itinerary, their approved Queensland Travel Pass, as much information as possible to explain their individual circumstances.

U.S. citizens are advised that domestic travel from Brisbane to other parts of Australia, even to catch onward international flights, is not possible.

Vanuatu:  As of June 12, the Embassy is not aware of viable flight options for exiting Vanuatu en route to the United States.  U.S. citizens who wish to immediately return to the United States from Vanuatu are advised to continue monitoring the availability of commercial air or charter flights that might facilitate their travel.

If they have not done so already, U.S. citizens who wish to depart Vanuatu immediately should also complete our repatriation interest form.  However, the Embassy does not anticipate additional U.S. government charter flights.

U.S. citizens may also wish to consider registering their interest with the Vanuatu Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is coordinating repatriation flights for Ni-Van citizens elsewhere in the region.

Papua New Guinea:  As of June 12, U.S. citizens in Papua New Guinea who wish to immediately return to the United States may have two commercial air options available to them:

Departing Port Moresby Tuesdays and Thursdays — via Brisbane and Doha, Qatar

  • Air Niugini from Port Moresby to Brisbane
  • Qatar Airways from Brisbane to Doha, Qatar, with onward destinations to Dallas and Chicago

Departing Port Moresby Tuesdays — via Brisbane and Singapore

Note: U.S. citizens intending to transit Changi Airport in Singapore en route to the United States should verify eligibility before making reservations.  In general, travelers must be on a single Singapore Airlines itinerary and must be checked-in from Brisbane all the way to their first port of entry in the United States.  U.S. citizens may need to work directly with Singapore Airlines or travel agents to find a consolidated Singapore Airlines itinerary.  End note.

Because transit times in Brisbane are greater than eight hours, U.S. citizens who wish to take advantage of the above commercial flight options must be in possession of the following:

  • A valid Australian visa or ETA. Processing of new ETAs is suspended.  U.S. citizens who do not currently have a valid ETA are advised to apply online for a Subclass 771 transit visa.

A Queensland Travel Pass and Australian Border Force exemption may not be required for these itineraries.  However, U.S. citizens are advised to verify by reviewing the latest guidelines for transiting Australia and checking with their airlines.

General Guidance:

The Embassy has no authority to facilitate exemptions to Australia’s border and immigration policies and assumes no liability for delays or disruptions in travel.  Additional international commercial air services facilitating return to the United States may continue to be limited for the foreseeable future.

U.S. citizens are advised that the above routes and transit options may be suspended at any time with little or no notice and are subject to Australian federal and/or state requirements, as applicable.  Routes involving multiple air carriers may present difficulties for baggage routing and collection.

U.S. citizens may find that online forms linked to above do not take into account their specific situation, but should make an attempt to obtain approvals as required and with the best information available to you at the time.

Actions to Take:

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Phone number:            +675 308 2100

Email address: ConsularPortMoresby@state.gov

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/usembassyportmoresby/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/usembassypom?lang=en

 

U.S. Consular Agency in Honiara, Solomon Islands

Phone number:            + 677 27429 or + 677 74 94731

Email address: us_consular@usconsular.com.sb and keithieusa@usconsular.com.sb

 

U.S. State Department – Consular Affairs
+1 888 407 4747 or +1 202 501 4444

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