5,548 rejected asylum seekers were deported in the first quarter of the year, the report states with reference to the federal police.
During the same period, the authorities had to abort 4,752 repatriations in advance, for example due to the migrant in question not being found.
In 75 cases pilots or their respective airlines refused to let asylum seekers on board, according to the report. A total of 314 deportations were stopped for this reason in 2017 and 139 cases in 2016.
Board member of the pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit, Jörg Handwerg, justified the actions of pilots. If someone comes aboard who “becomes violent and behaves aggressively, the captain has to reconsider transportation,” he said.
Pilots are obliged by paragraph 12 of the air security law to ensure safety on board their flight.
On the other hand, German residency law dictates that airlines are legally obliged to take all rejected asylum seekers who the government wishes to deport. Pilots who refuse purely on moral grounds could face legal consequences.
Deportations have been aborted even though the migrant is accompanied by officers and “poses no danger to security and order on board the aircraft,” said a federal police spokesperson.
In the case of collective repatriations involving not one but several migrants, chartered aircraft may now be used as an alternative to scheduled flights.