Unprecedented: Lufthansa is flying 5 A380s and 5 747s to New Zealand

Apr 7, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Travelers who have found themselves stuck outside of their home countries are frantically trying to get back. airlines are stepping up and flying special repatriation flights on routes to destinations that they might never have been to before.

On March 26, German giant Lufthansa flew a Boeing 747 to Auckland (AKL) for the first time ever. Now, the German Federal Foreign Office has arranged with Lufthansa to send an additional 10 flights to New Zealand to bring back German tourists. Five of the repatriation flights will be operated by Boeing 747s, while the other five flights will be operated by the airline’s recently parked A380 fleet.

The first of the 10 flights, which are all operating via Bangkok (BKK), is due to land back in Frankfurt (FRA) on Tuesday evening. The 747 registered D-ABVP, operating as LH355, already made its way from Christchurch (CHC) and is currently in Bangkok before departing on its final leg, scheduled to arrive in Frankfurt at 11:30 p.m local time Tuesday.

Hot on its heels is A380 D-AIMC, which is currently en route from Auckland to Bangkok as LH357 and scheduled to arrive in Frankfurt an hour later.

Three of Lufthansa’s repatriation flights flying between New Zealand and Thailand (Screen cap from FlightRadar24)

The total of five A380s, each with 509 seats, and five 747s with 371 seats each means that up to 4,400 Germans could be brought home from New Zealand.

The cabin crew operating the flights volunteered to do so. A total of 210 crew were selected to operate the special repatriation flights. Crews will change in Bangkok in order to abide by crew rest periods.

The 10 superjumbo flights to New Zealand are just one part of Lufthansa’s huge repatriation efforts. So far, the airline said that it has recovered more than 70,000 travellers from 77 airports on five continents since mid-March. The tally so far is 360 flights with 55 more still to be flown.

Related: Watch TPG U.K. review all Lufthansa cabins on one flight

Featured image by Zach Griff/The Points Guy 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.