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Coming home Switzerland concludes massive repatriation campaign

Helvetic Airways plane

The operation repatriated 7,200 people from around the world.

(Keystone / Walter Bieri)

Switzerland’s historic repatriation effort in response to the coronavirus pandemic has drawn to a close with the last set of passengers arriving from West Africa.

Helvetic Airways, on behalf of the Swiss foreign ministry, brought home 100 travellers from Ghana, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. The plane touched down in Zurich late on Wednesday.

Eight crew members – three pilots, four cabin crew and one mechanic – all volunteered to complete the special mission.

The flight marks the end of operation #flyinghome, the largest repatriation campaign in Swiss history, which started on March 22 as international travel decreased on account of the Covid-19 virus.

The operation repatriated 7,200 people from around the world: nearly 4,100 Swiss nationals and 3,100 nationals from other countries. Two-thirds of the non-Swiss were Europeans. Another 1,500 Swiss nationals returned home on flights organised by other countries.

global solidarity Covid 19: Switzerland earmarks CHF400 million for international aid

Half of the funds will go to the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross as an interest-free loan.

This content was published on April 30, 2020 10:09 AM

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