WELLINGTON, April 13 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government will arrange to bring citizens stranded in India back home, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters said on Monday.
"New Zealanders in India have faced challenging circumstances and the very difficult task of getting home from a country under full lockdown," Peters said in a statement.
"The government is in discussion with airlines and international partners to help those New Zealanders stranded in India return home. This is a seriously complex endeavor due to the current lockdown and the large number of New Zealanders in various locations around India. However, we are making very good progress," Peters said.
"We are asking all New Zealanders in India to seriously consider taking our government-assisted flights home. There are no guarantees when international commercial flights will return to India and New Zealanders shouldn't be relying on that happening in the short-term," he said.
India announced a ban on international flights on March 22, and the country has been in lockdown since March 25, leaving New Zealanders with no flight options. Stranded New Zealanders will need to contribute to the cost of any government-facilitated flights from India, and the cost will be comparable to recent government-assisted departures from other locations, such as Peru, Peters added.