“We are incredibly glad that we were able to bring so many of our compatriots home. This has been an outstanding team effort. Our heartfelt thanks go to the wonderful colleagues at South African Airways, who impressed us with their professionalism, flexibility and kindness throughout this process. I would also like to thank all our other South African partners without whom this huge repatriation effort would not have been possible – from our colleagues at Dirco, to the health authorities, airport staff, traffic police and the Western Cape government,” said German Ambassador Martin Schäfer.
The flights targeted German tourists who had been stranded in South Africa due to the lockdown and the cessation of commercial air traffic. The repatriation flights organized by the German government were also open to citizens from other European Union member states.
“We had people from almost every EU country present on our flights. That’s European solidarity in trying times”, said Ambassador Schäfer.
“We’re all in this crisis together. That’s why I am also very pleased that SAA was able to bring back South African citizens on the return trips of our repatriation flights from Germany.”
Germany’s repatriation flights from South Africa are part of a worldwide effort by the German government to bring its compatriots home during the Coronavirus crisis. Around 240,000 tourists have travelled back to Germany from countries across the world.