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Germany repatriates last 500 travelers from New Zealand

April 13, 2020

Auckland will illuminate Sky Tower in the colors of the German flag in recognition of the final repatriation flight. Some 12,000 Germans were stuck in the country due to the lockdown measures.

Auckland Skyline
Image: Imago-Images/J. Kruse

Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, will be lit up in the colors of the German national flag on Monday evening, in honor of the last German travelers in New Zealand being repatriated from the country.

"Auckland's Sky Tower will light up black, red and golden yellow this evening to mark the final repatriation flight of Germans out of New Zealand. By the end of today we will have moved 8,500 stranded Germans back to their homeland," the German-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce confirmed in a statement.

The Lufthansa A380 Flight 357, with 500 German nationals on board, is due to fly from Auckland to Frankfurt at 6:30 p.m, local time (0600 GMT/UTC). It will do a low pass over the harbour past Sky Tower.

Read more: Coronavirus: New Zealand allows stranded tourists to leave

About 200,000 Germans were stranded overseas as a result of worldwide lockdowns and travel restrictions due to fears of the coronavirus pandemic, 12,000 of them in New Zealand.

The chamber's chief executive, Monique Surges said that being able to send them back was "immensely satisfying and a huge relief."

Fourteen Lufthansa and 12 Air New Zealand flights were chartered for stranded Germans, taking up to 1,200 passengers back per day. Another flight of German travelers is due to fly back to Germany from Christchurch today.

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