Abu Dhabi: The Indonesian Embassy on Thursday repatriated 204 stranded sailors and 167 other nationals who had lost their jobs or were here as tourists, the embassy has confirmed.
The 167 were repatriated from Abu Dhabi on an Etihad flight, while the sailors were sent from Dubai airport via a chartered Garuda Indonesia flight.
Those repatriated included those sent on unpaid leave, stranded tourists and those whose contracts had been terminated, said Nur Ibrahim, first secretary for Information and Socio Cultural Affairs at the Indonesian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
Following the coronavirus outbreak, crew members were stranded on ships in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Crewmembers of two cruise ships, Norwegian Cruise Line and Azamara Cruises, departed from Dubai International Airport at 11pm on Thursday, the embassy said.
The crew work on four different cruise ships, namely Seven Seas Voyager, Norwegian Jade, and Nautica, and Azamara Quest.
The first three cruise ships have been docked in Dubai since the beginning of March. While the Azamara Quest cruise ships arrived in Abu Dhabi since the middle of last month.
All crew tested COVID-19 negative so that they could return home to Indonesia. The inspection was borne by the UAE government with the support of the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs and health authorities in Abu Dhabi (SEHA) and Dubai (DHA), said Ibrahim.
The embassy thanked the cruise ship companies, Dubai Police, Dubai Port and airport authorities, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC).