The extraordinary set of circumstances we’re facing with the Covid-19 outbreak has brought along some out of the ordinary events. For instance one of these events has got to be the first time for a Lufthansa aircraft in New Zealand.
Why is a Lufthansa 747 in New Zealand?
The land of the Kiwis is not a destination on the Lufthansa network, nor has it ever been. But due to the situation the German national airline is undertaking repatriation flights. Repatriation flights are rescue flights that collect stranded German nationals around the world.
Which means that this is more a one in a life time thing to see, rather than something we might see again sometime in the future. The 747 departed from Germany and is on a mission, as we said, to recover stranded German nationals in New Zealand and Japan. Once the rescue mission is over the aircraft will make route for home.
Many Others Are Doing The Same
Many other countries and airlines are doing similar operations to those of Lufthansa and the German government. For example Alitalia is operating repatriation flights on behalf of the Italian government. And just as in the Lufthansa 747 we’re seeing some odd routes being operated.
Covid-19 has brought us to see an Austrian Airlines 777-200 operate a 16.000 km flight from Vienna to Sydney. The OE-LPD registration aircraft flew over 17 hours to collect stranded Austrian nationals down under. It was quite funny to see the irony on twitter when the “Spirit of Austria” met the “Spirit of Australia”.
Another peculiar route is the one covered by a Swiss aircraft flying from Zurich to Cebu. The aircraft like all the others we mentioned so far is on a repatriation mission. It’s very interesting to see airlines fly these very special routes for the first time. If you spot any others please point them out in the comments section below.