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Media Release

Media statement

31st March 2020

Chimu Adventures is pleased to announce that on Sunday the 29th of March, Peruvian time, LATAM aircraft chartered by Chimu Adventures departed Cusco and consequently Lima, bound for Sydney, Australia, carrying 291 Australians touched down in Sydney this morning at 06:46. 

What began as an initiative to facilitate Chimu Adventures’ booked travellers to return home, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, soon turned into a full-scale charter flight for other Australians also in a similar situation. 

“When we discovered there were numerous other Australian nationals stuck in Peru, we decided to expand the operation. At Chimu, we are fortunate to have our own logistics employees on the ground in Peru so we activated our people immediately.  We have spent the last fifteen years facilitating travel arrangements for travellers from around the world to visit Latin America, this is the first time in history that our focus has been to get them home.” Said Greg Carter, Co-founder of Chimu Adventures.

It has proved to be an extremely difficult operation to undertake given the liquid state of border closures, lockdown laws and airline complexities in this unprecedented time.  To make this work it was imperative for Chimu to work with authorities from all nations and all facets involved.

“We couldn’t predict the full scale of this operation when we started, we just knew that we had to get our travellers home. The amount of work involved has been immense, it has felt like I have been on my phone almost 24 hours a day, every day, negotiating and jumping through whatever hoops were presenting to us in order to get this done. This has included talking to government authorities in all countries involved, logistics companies, airlines, and our own operations team on the ground in Peru. The most incredible thing to witness during this arduous process was to see the Chimu team jump onboard behind the plan and work, long, tireless hours to help make it happen.” Said Chad Carey Chimu Adventures Co-founder.

“We are incredibly grateful for all the assistance we have received so far including Diana Nelson the Australian Ambassador to Peru and her diplomatic staff, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, LATAM plus our operations staff in Peru.” Said Carey.

After the plane touches down in Sydney, travellers will be ordered to follow quarantine protocol as stipulated by Australian law.

Chimu now continues to work on the final logistics to return another planeload of Australians from Montevideo in Uruguay, this will include travellers who have been stuck on board the Ocean Atlantic unable to disembark due to port restrictions placed following the COVID-19 Pandemic announcement.  The logistics of this operation is Chimu’s top priority as conditions continue to change and is posing an ongoing challenge in extremely trying conditions. 

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