Tears and cheers as the first quarantine-free planes arrive in Sydney

Alan Yule left his home in Grenfell in Central West NSW at 12.15 to pick up his son.

“Wow, that’s different, isn’t it?” Yule said about the amount of family members and media gathered at the arrival gate. “It’s completely different. It’s all a little too much to take in. But it’s a special day.”

Qanta's customer service manager Paul Wason (center) waves as the crew of QF12 from Los Angeles arrives at Sydney International Airport.

Qanta’s customer service manager Paul Wason (center) waves as the crew of QF12 from Los Angeles arrives at Sydney International Airport.Credit:Kate Geraghty

He said the couple drove back to Grenfell immediately.

“I am happy to be able to spend a little more time with [my son]. I’ve missed him, so I just want to enjoy it.

“I want to get him used to driving on the left side of the road again on the way home, I think.”

Passenger Emma Arzoumanian, who has been in the United States for the past two months for family reasons, said she had been willing to quarantine her husband and son, but was relieved that it was no longer necessary.

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“I’m excited to be back. I’m just off the plane and back to work. I see my best friend waiting for me outside. Getting to Sydney was just so emotional that the whole plane clapped.”

Among the happy reunions was also grief. Rozlyn Collier, who lives with her family in Canada, flew back to Australia to spend time with her relatives and to attend the funeral of her father, who died last week.

“It’s really bittersweet to come home. It’s been two years since I saw my father. “

Ms Collier has lived abroad for the past 19 years and said it was “fantastic” to hover over the coast and Sydney Harbor at sunrise.

“It was great to see the Australian coastline again. This will always be at home. “

Qanta flight attendant Josh Alexander said the trip to Sydney “just felt like normal” after months of work on international repatriation flights.

“We were able to provide full service. The passengers were so happy that they just loved hearing Australian accents.”

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