Feature

Hike In Airfares Hinder Volavola Family’s Return

Kalivati’s grandfather, Peni Volavola (senior), who is in Fiji, said he hoped his family members returned soon. The former Suva Lord Mayor said he reached out to Fijians who could help bring his family back. He said the longer they stayed in India, the harder and costlier things became.
01 Jun 2020 13:00
Hike In Airfares Hinder Volavola Family’s Return
Kalivati Volavola (fourth from left) with parents (fifth and sixth from left) who are stranded in India.

A Fijian family stranded in India wants to return home, but cannot afford to pay their airfare, which has soared because of COVID-19.

The family needs almost $15,000 to return and this is money they do not have.

The Volavola family went to India in February for eight-year-old Kalivati’s surgery. He was diagnosed with bone cancer – Osteosarcoma Osteoblastic.

With treatment unavailable locally, there was no option but to take him to India. Kalivati, his father Peni Volavola (junior), and mother, travelled to India in February.

Following surgery at the Artemis Healthcare Hospital in India, Kalivati is recovering very well.

Now it is time for them to return home, but because of COVID-19, airfares have gone up.

Kalivati Volavola.

Kalivati Volavola.

Kalivati’s grandfather, Peni Volavola (senior), who is in Fiji, said he hoped his family members returned soon.

The former Suva Lord Mayor said he reached out to Fijians who could help bring his family back. He said the longer they stayed in India, the harder and costlier things became.

“Given the lockdown on international travels and the recent termination of half of Fiji Airways employees, their homeward journey is now in limbo,” he said.

Mr Volavola (senior) said he prayed that funds for their travel could be arranged before June 17.

He said the only travel route open for them was via Australia.

“They will be required to pay for this route (via Australia) because Air India will be facilitating this leg,” he said.

He said an additional $5500 for each of Kalivati’s parents ($11,00 for both) plus $2800 for Kalivati, a total of $13,800 would be required.

“NGO, ‘Make A Difference Fiji’ is trying to assist Kalivati and his parents,” he said.

He added they had managed to arrange some funds, but were still short of $6500.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

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