German pilots to stop refugee repatriation flights


Berlin - Since the beginning of the year, the German pilots have refused to make more than 200 flights returning refugees to Afghanistan, while the country continues to fight against the massive migrations triggered by the conflicts in the Middle East.

According to Deutsche Welle, 222 flights departing from German airports and carrying Afghan asylum seekers have been stopped by pilots, most of whom cited security risks on board. The most affected airline is no surprise Lufthansa with 85 canceled takeoffs, followed by its low-cost subsidiary Eurowings.

Frankfurt airport alone accounts for about 140 flights stopped. Around 40 cancellations also took place from Düsseldorf Airport, where human rights activists organized the #WelcomeUnited protest against the deportation of asylum seekers.

A spokesman for the German national carrier said that the pilot has right to block boarding if he thinks there are some security risks.

Since the beginning of the year, Germany has processed 388,201 asylum applications, which more than all the other European Union countries, according to the German immigration office. About 210,000 of these applications were rejected. The lawsuits cost the country about 19 million euros during the first eleven months of the year, 7.8 million more than last year. The increase pushed the German government to offer a return bonus of 3000 euros to repatriation volunteers.