European airlines – including Lufthansa, Air France KLM – have started to organise repatriation flights to bring foreign nationals home from Southern Africa.
The Lufthansa Group began repatriation flights last week from Namibia for stranded German tourists.
“This week (April 2), Lufthansa is operating six repatriation flights to Windhoek in order to fly more than 1 500 stranded German/European tourists back home to their families and friends,” said GM Southern Africa and East Africa, Dr André Schulz.
On April 2, Lufthansa announced that it would extend its returnee flight schedule until May 3. “This also means that all remaining flights of the original flight schedule between April 25 and May 3 will be cancelled,” said the group.
“Flights that were planned to operate until April 24 were cancelled at an earlier date. As of today, April 2, the route cancellations will be implemented successively and the passengers affected will be informed of the changes.”
The Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and Edelweiss) have been operating more than 300 special flights since March 13, taking 60 000 holidaymakers back to their home countries of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium.
Air France KLM, in co-operation with the Dutch and French embassies in South Africa, has organised repatriation flights for more than 1 000 Dutch and 250 French nationals to return home.
Dates for these flights are pending final authorisations, but KLM will operate five consecutive flights from Amsterdam to South Africa – three flights to Cape Town and two to Johannesburg. A technical stop in Réunion has also been organised.
These flights will also be open to citizens of other European Union member states. The repatriation flights will not be open for sale through the traditional direct and indirect, online and offline channels.
Dutch and French residents stranded in South Africa are advised to make themselves known to their embassies in the country.