Lufthansa is set to launch a mammoth effort to repatriate Germans stranded in New Zealand. Throughout the week, five Airbus A380s and five Boeing 747s will make their way to both Auckland and Christchurch to repatriate German tourists.
Last week Lufthansa hit the headlines when it operated a Boeing 747 to New Zealand. It marked the first Lufthansa flight to the island nation in 20 years. However, it seems that this was not nearly enough. Since then we’ve seen Air New Zealand supplement the operation. Now Lufthansa has scheduled an additional 10 flights to New Zealand. These will be operated across the course of this week.
210 crew members
The mammoth repatriation effort will certainly be a big deal for Lufthansa. In total, 40 flights will be necessary, two in each direction per rotation. The German flag carrier said that in order to accomplish the feat, it would need 210 members of flight crew.
Each flight will stop in Bangkok to refuel and change crew. In order to make this possible, the German airline has already positioned crew to the Thai capital. Additionally, it seems as though the first few of these rescue flights are already underway.
Clearly it will be no small task repatriate these passengers from New Zealand. Lufthansa’s operations will have the capacity for up to 4,400 according to the airline.
Each of the Airbus A380s has a capacity of 509 seats, making a total of 2,545 seats across the five flights. Additionally, each of the Boeing 747 flights will carry 371 passengers, giving a total capacity of 1,855 across the Boeing 747 flights.
The first flight is due to arrive back into Frankfurt Airport tomorrow evening. D-ABVP will operate LH355. This flight, from Christchurch, is due to arrive in Germany’s aviation capital at 23:30 local time.
This will be followed by the first Airbus A380 flight an hour later at 00:30 on Wednesday the 8th of April. D-AIMC will operate the flight from Auckland under the flight number LH357.
Part of a much wider effort
These rescue flights are part of a much bigger effort to repatriate passengers from New Zealand, and indeed across the globe. Lufthansa, Condor, and Air New Zeland have already operated flights to repatriate German citizens from the island nation.
However, for Lufthansa, this is just a small part of the total operation. So far, the airline has operated a total of 360 special flights to bring people home. These have operated to 77 airports across five continents. This huge effort has helped in excess of 70,000 people return home so far. This won’t be the end of efforts either, as the airline is already planning 55 more flights.
Has Lufthansa helped you to return home during this time of uncertainty? Let us know your story in the comments.