CANBERRA, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Families of the people aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be given free visas if they wish to come to Australia during the search and recovery operation, the immigration authority said Wednesday.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) was working with Malaysia Airlines and counterparts in China to facilitate visa arrangement for family and officials, said a spokesperson for the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.
"We will be using tourist visas and will be waiving visa fees," the spokesperson said in a statement to Xinhua.
"We are encouraging all relatives involved in flight MH370 to contact their nearest Australian Embassy to arrange visas for travel to Australia."
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Tuesday that any family members who chose to come to Australia would "find a welcoming country that is more than willing to embrace them in this very difficult time."
Western Australia state premier Colin Barnett said Wednesday that several hundred family members were expected to arrive as the search was being conducted out of the state capital Perth.
"As a state government, we will assist the government and do all that we can to make them feel welcome, to be respectful of the very sad loss of their family members," he said.
"We will coordinate all that we can to assist them. There may be some sort of memorial service, I'm not even sure about that. We are dealing primarily with the Chinese population, but also many nationalities involved so I expect that to unfold over the next week or so," said Barnett.
Chinese aircraft, icebreaker reach target areas, multinational search resumes for missing jetliner
BEIJING/PERTH, March 26 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese IL-76 aircraft reached the target area in the southern Indian Ocean on Wednesday morning and has begun searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
A Xinhua correspondent aboard the plane said the meteorologic conditions were complicated. Full story
Chinese special envoy meets Malaysian PM over MH370
KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese special envoy Zhang Yesui met here Wednesday with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for discussions over the matter of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Zhang, a Chinese vice foreign minister, is also expected to confer with Malaysia's acting transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, as well as the top brass of the airline. Full story
MH370 ends in southern Indian Ocean: Malaysian PM
KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 (Xinhua) -- New analysis of statellite data suggested that the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 "ended" in the southern Indian Ocean, said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday.Full story
China promises support to MH370 relatives
BEIJING, March 25 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday has promised support for relatives of passengers after Malaysia announced missing Flight MH370 had crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
The Chinese government has sent personnel to provide psychological support and legal aid to relatives of passengers in Beijing's Metro Park Lido Hotel, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing. Full story
China demands information on MH370
BEIJING, March 25 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday urged international organizations and related countries to provide information that may help in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
"It is an international search. China hopes international organizations and countries will provide Malaysia and China with valuable information to help us conduct better targeted search work," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei. Full story