SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Australia's national airline Qantas said Friday it would use a bigger aircraft for its flight home from Mumbai Saturday to accommodate people wanting to leave the ravaged city.
The regular flight to Sydney would be upgraded to a larger aircraft with an extra 50 seats and an extra flight would be offered if required, the airline's chief executive Alan Joyce said.
"We'll be completely flexible as Qantas has always been with the requirements of the Department of Foreign Affairs," he told reporters in Brisbane, where the airline was holding its annual meeting.
At least two Australians were among some 130 people killed in coordinated militant attacks on targets across Mumbai, including two luxury hotels, and three are believed to have been wounded.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Friday announced an emergency assistance plan to help Australians evacuated from Mumbai, including financial payments.
"The payments we are providing will help Australians who have been injured, caught up in the violence, held hostage, or who have witnessed these shocking events," the government said in a statement.
Payments of 1,000 dollars ($985.20) for adults and 400 ($394.10) dollars per child would be available through the social services system, the statement said.