By Maresa Fagan and Juno McEnroe
The Department of Foreign Affairs has secured additional seats on flights from key Australian cities to assist Irish people to get home in the coming days.
It is not clear how many seats have been secured by the Department but the Irish Embassy in Australia confirmed the availability of additional seats on Qatar Airways flights from March 28 through to March 31.
The additional seats were available on Qatar Airways flights departing from Sydney on Saturday and Monday, from Melbourne on Saturday and Sunday, and from Brisbane on Tuesday.
Confirmation of the additional flights come as Qatar Airways ramps up the number of flights and seats available from Australia from Monday to provide an additional 48,000 seats to a number of international destinations.
The embassy said it would continue to work with airlines on options for travel and urged people to contact Hannon Travel on 046 9075852 or by email to email@example.com. The flights cost €1,740.
A spokesperson for the Department said: “Our Embassy network is working around the clock to assist Irish citizens with getting home. Our missions provide information, when available, on limited options offered by commercial airline companies.”
“We recommend contacting the airlines directly for details of these flights.
The Department also advised citizens trying to get home to sign up to a citizens’ register to allow staff to update them in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that over 2,000 Irish citizens are stranded in 86 countries across the globe.
The figures were confirmed by the assistant secretary-general at the Department of the Taoiseach, Elizabeth Canavan, on Friday as it was confirmed that an emergency flight was being organised to bring Irish citizens home from Peru.
The department official said: "Currently we are trying to help over 2,000 of our citizens in 86 countries who are seeking assistance to return to Ireland.”
Further travel updates and advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs is available here.