Since January 2017, 222 flights from Germany have been canceled because the pilots assigned to the flights refused to fly Afghan asylum seekers back to their country of origin. The German authorities consider Afghanistan “a safe country” despite the violence and repression in parts of the state.
Anti-deportation protest Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Many German pilots are refusing to fly flights carrying asylum seekers that the country has decided to deport, bringing to the cancellation of about 220 flights, according to Deutsche Welle. The German government revealed the information about the canceled flights after the left-wing Die Linke political party requested the information. Pilots from several airlines, including the country’s leading airline Lufthansa, are participating in the mass protest.
According to the German government’s data, 222 scheduled flights have been canceled since 2017 due to the massive refusal to take part in the deportation of asylum seekers to Afghanistan. The German authorities consider Afghanistan “a safe country” despite the violence and repression in parts of the state.
About 85 of the refusing pilots work at Lufthansa and its subsidiary Eurowings. The majority of the canceled flights were supposed to depart from Frankfurt Airport. Lufthansa spokesman Michael Lamberty defended the pilots who refused to fly the refugees back to Afghanistan, saying that the pilots need to also take into consideration the safety of their passengers.