Irish citizens stranded in Italy to be flown home today - with 2,000 still stuck overseas

Irish citizens stranded in Italy to be flown home today - with 2,000 still stuck overseas

IRISH citizens currently stranded in Italy are to be flown home today.

Both the Italian and Irish governments have organised two flights to repatriate their citizens stuck overseas.

It's estimated that over 500 Italians will be flying to Rome from Dublin on Thursday, with a number of Irish citizens travelling the other way.

Italian airline Alitalia have chartered both flights which look to get as many people as they can home safely in spite of coronavirus travel restrictions.

The flight out of Rome will depart from Fiumicino Airport at 4:55pm, and is due to arrive in Dublin at 6:10pm local time.

Despite it being a short haul flight, the airline has organised two Airbus A330 aircraft to make the trips.

This high-capacity aircraft is usually only operated on long haul routes, but given the amount of people looking to make the trip, and keeping social distancing in mind, the larger aircraft was chosen.

In a statement to RTÉ News, Alitalia said it accepted a request from the Department of Foreign Affairs through the Italian Embassy in Dublin.

The Irish government confirmed this week that it is trying to help over 2,000 citizens in 86 countries who are seeking assistance to get home.

Many are in small groups but the majority are in Australia - with a couple of hundred in New Zealand.

"We are in close ongoing contact with airlines and aviation companies and are exploring all options. There are still commercial flights, some of them multi-stop," the government said.

"We know this is very stressful for those abroad and their families here but we are leaving no stone unturned in trying to get people home."