Mission Accomplished! This morning, the last scheduled repatriation flight for German and European citizens arrived in Frankfurt from Lima, Peru, thus completing Lufthansa’s successful relief-flight program that brought home around 90,000 travelers.
The implementation of worldwide travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic resulted in an unprecedented number of people needing to return to their respective home countries since mid-March. The Lufthansa Group Passenger Airlines have all supported their respective governments and home markets by providing safe and much-needed relief flights. Now, at just over one month, the repatriation flight programs of the various European governments and numerous tourism providers are nearing completion
Since March 13, 2020, Lufthansa Group airlines operated a total of 437 special fligts, which have departed from 106 airports worldwide - from New Zealand all the way to Chile - with Europe as the end destination. In the coming days, 11 more relief flights from the other Group carriers will follow. The governments of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium, in particular, but also tour operators and cruise lines, have ordered these return flights from Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Edelweiss, Eurowings, Lufthansa and SWISS.
Additionally, the Lufthansa Group operated 94 Special cargo flights wit relief supplies on board.
Approximately 40 airports around the world were not regular destinations that the Lufthansa Group serviced. Furthermore, these repatriation flights consisted of additional planning and personnel for handling, catering and cockpit / cabin crew accommodations. Fuel and maintenance were also organized in a very short amount of time. The local embassies and diplomatic representatives, as well as the German Foreign Office, also provided support, especially wth regard to the necessary overflight and traffic rights. Further challenges included local curfews, rapidly changing restrictions and partially closed airports.