German pilots grounded over 200 flights after refusing to be involved in the deportations of failed asylum-seekers, it’s been reported.
Between January and September 222 flights were cancelled with 140 of those at Frankfurt airport.
Local media report 85 of the disrupted flights were on Lufthansa and its subsidiary, Eurowings. The airline said: “Lufthansa fundamentally rejects deportations against the resistance of those affected.
“In spite of its statutory obligation to carry passengers, Lufthansa can exclude passengers from the flight if, among other things, it is to be feared that their behaviour or condition could constitute a concrete danger to safety and order on board, endanger themselves or others, or if such transport would represent an unreasonable burden on other passengers.
“For information on the numbers stated, please refer to the German federal government who is the author of this information. Lufthansa cannot comment on the numbers stated.”
Forty of the flights were due to take off from Dusseldorf airport – a place famed for protesters on the tarmac.
A blanket ban on deportations back to Afghanistan was imposed in August 2015, but last year the EU agreed with the Afghan government to start deporting failed asylum seekers back to “safe areas” in Afghanistan.
Back in October, Amnesty International told European governments planning to deport asylum seekers back to Afghanistan were putting nearly 10,000 people at risk of death.
The organisation believes “no part of Afghanistan is safe, they are putting people at risk of torture, kidnapping, death and other horrors.”
“Wilfully blind to the evidence that violence is at a record high and no part of Afghanistan is safe, they are putting people at risk of torture, kidnapping, death and other horrors.”
Despite this, in order to reduce the number of appeals and speed up deportations, the German government has proposed bringing in a new asylum program to begin in February 2018.
It will see rejected asylum seekers given 3,000 euros as an incentive to accept deportation.