Lufthansa Repatriation Effort Nears End

Over the last month, the Lufthansa Group has been carrying out a mammoth repatriation effort that has seen aircraft traveling the globe. However, after over 400 flights to repatriate stranded Europeans, the effort is now set to come to an end.

Lufthansa A330
The Lufthansa group has been rescuing passengers from across the globe. Photo: Lufthansa

As flights in numerous countries the world over were grounded due to falling demand and travel bans, the Lufthansa Group stepped in to rescue European citizens. The rescue effort was a giant task that involved flights to numerous distant regions. So far Lufthansa has rescued almost 90,000 passengers from over 100 countries. However, it’s time for the effort to be wound up.

A breakdown of achievements

The Lufthansa Group contains more than just the airline Lufthansa. In fact, the airline group contains several airlines, both full service and low cost. Seven of the group’s airlines have been carrying out such repatriation flights, despite some having suspended regular scheduled services entirely.

Unsurprisingly Lufthansa has played the biggest role in the huge effort to bring people home. The airline has operated 157 flights to 38 destinations around the globe. This has meant that the airline has carried 42,274 passengers home so far, including Simple Flying staff!

Lufthansa, Rescue Flight, Repatriation
These are all the destinations that Lufthansa has operated rescue flights to. Photo: GCMap

However, other airlines also took part in the effort:

  • Eurowings carried 18,067 passengers from 19 destinations on 109 flights;
  • SWISS/Edelweiss carried 13,987 passengers from 41 destinations on 82 flights;
  • Austrian carried 7,417 passengers from 36 destinations on 43 flights;
  • Brussels Airlines carried 6,086 passengers from 20 destinations on 37 flights;
  • Air Dolomiti carried 409 passengers from five destinations on nine flights.

However, it’s not quite over. According to Lufthansa 11 flights are still outstanding. These flights are shared out between Lufthsana (3), Eurowings (1), SWISS (5), and Austrian (2).

Some unique flights

The effort to repatriate all of the citizens has seen some weird and wonderful flights being operated. Lufthansa sent a number of aircraft to New Zealand for the first time in 20 years. This included five Airbus A380 flights, the first time the German carrier’s A380s have visited the island nation.

Lufthansa, Rescue Flight, Repatriation
Some German aircraft ventured as far as New Zealand! Photo: Lufthansa

Both SWISS and Austrian operated their longest flights to date. SWISS’ flight saw a Boeing 777 flown non-stop from its Zurich hub to Santiago. The flight had a planned flight time of 13 hours and 55 minutes.

Meanwhile, Austrian airlines flew a Boeing 777 non-stop from Vienna to Sydney. However, this wasn’t quite as long as Qantas’ epic Project Sunrise flight from London to Sydney. The Boeing 777 was scheduled to take 17 hours to fly the non-stop distance all the way to Sydney – a distance of over 16,000km.

Unfortunately, while we’ve seen a number of impressive flights, the situation also had drawbacks for the airline group. Yesterday Simple Flying reported that Lufthansa had sent all of its Airbus A340-600 aircraft to a Spanish aircraft graveyard. Meanwhile, the airline has permanently decommissioned a number of aircraft including 6 Airbus A380s and 5 Boeing 747s.

Did you get to fly on one of Lufthansa’s repatriation flights? Let us know your story in the comments section!