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Airline industry

From 2100 AEDT 20 March 2020, airline staff should ensure that only exempt travellers board a flight to Australia. Where possible, the Australian Advanced Passenger Processing system will be used to deny uplift for all other travellers.

The Australian Government will honour all “okay to board” messages that airlines receive.

Airline crew, including general aviation crew, medevac and air ambulance crew are exempt from the current travel restrictions.

All air crew who have been on international flights must self-isolate in their crew accommodation or home for 14 days after arrival, or until their next flight, whichever is shorter.

All air crew are advised to take particular care on lay-overs, to use dedicated private transport and to avoid crowded public spaces.

All air crew should monitor for symptoms and not fly if they are ill. This includes off-shift crew who are travelling as passengers on an aircraft to reposition at another location. The same process is to be followed for this cohort as on-shift crew.

From 24 June 2020, all air crew operating international flights between Australia and New Zealand, are exempt from home quarantine requirements, provided they have only been within Australia and New Zealand for the past 14 days.State and Territory governments may have additional requirements for air crew. Airlines and air crew should monitor individual state and territory government health sites for details and updates on additional measure.

Requesting approval for an international flight

All non-scheduled flights must make an international flight request at least 7 days before the proposed flight.

Requests, that do not contain the necessary information, will not be considered until all information is provided.

This request does not replace the need for other applications required by law for passengers and aircraft entering Australia, or Australian air space.

The charter/flight operator (the operator), that is, the person who actually owns or operates the aircraft used for the non-scheduled service, must make the application for an International Flight Request.

The charterer/airline is the person who is paying for or organising the service.

An application must be made for each individual flight leg through the portal and must be lodged with the ABF at least 7 days prior to the commencement of the proposed flights. Multi-leg flights can be linked together by entering the reference number from a previous flight request to a new flight request.

The application must have:

  • the name, address and contact details of the operator
  • the name, address and contact details of the charterer
  • the nationality of the interests which have substantial ownership and effective control of the operator
  • the nationality of the interests which have substantial ownership and effective control of the charterer
  • the type and capacity of the aircraft being used for the flights, and whether it is leased or owned by the charter operator
  • whether the flights will carry only passengers, cargo or mail, and if the services are carrying cargo, the type of cargo
  • a passenger list (a template is provided when you apply).

The operator must provide all passengers with the ABF Privacy notice (123KB PDF) when their personal information is collected. This outlines the purpose of collection and the ABF’s use of the passenger’s data. Charter Operators will be asked to acknowledge this information has been provided to passengers.

Final passenger lists are required no later than 72 hours prior to departure and your final seating plan will need to be provided prior to flight arrival via email.

A final seating plan must also be provided to the ABF before arrival via email by responding to your ABF flight confirmation email.

The ABF may seek additional information in order to consider the request.

Other necessary approvals

You will still be required to submit other applications separately for passengers and aircraft entering Australia through relevant authorities including:

  • the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
  • Air and Maritime Security within the Department of Home Affairs
  • the relevant state Airport, Infrastructure and transport authorities.

Further, the request does not replace existing reporting obligations under the Migration Act and Customs Act.