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German airline giant Lufthansa flies food to Britain amid Channel chaos

German airline Lufthansa said Wednesday it had flown 80 tonnes of fruits and vegetables to Britain after other links were cut over fears of a virus variant detected in the UK.

German airline giant Lufthansa flies food to Britain amid Channel chaos
A Lufthansa cargo flight lifting off to deliver groceries. Photo: DPA

“We are considering whether to increase the freight run,” a spokesman told AFP.

The airline's freight division Lufthansa Cargo said the fresh produce were usually sent in the hold of passenger flights or using trucks.

But since both routes have been halted by German authorities, the airline had turned to cargo planes to prevent the goods from rotting in its warehouses.

On Tuesday, Germany extended its ban on arrivals from the UK until January 6th. Across the EU, restrictions are also in place for British arrivals.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Germany's UK travel ban

Thousands of truck drivers are stuck in Britain after France on Sunday banned  travel from Britain for 48 hours owing to the spread of a new strain of the coronavirus.

With the cross-channel route widely used for good supplies cut off, fears had grown that supermarket shelves would run empty over the holiday season.

After emergency talks, France and Britain reopened cross-channel travel on Wednesday but the huge backlog meant it could be days before traffic could run smoothly again.

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MALLORCA

Lufthansa fires up ‘jumbo jet’ for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca

German airline Lufthansa said Friday it was taking "extraordinary measures" to meet surging bookings for the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca, deploying a jumbo jet to ferry passengers from Frankfurt.

Lufthansa fires up 'jumbo jet' for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca
Tourists enjoy the first days of summer on the island of Mallorca. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AP | Francisco Ubilla

The group said it had seen a jump in reservations from German sunseekers in recent weeks, as concerns about the pandemic ease thanks to falling infection numbers and vaccination progress across Europe.

To meet demand, Lufthansa said it would swap the 215-seat Airbus A321 that usually plies the Frankfurt-Mallorca route for its Boeing 747-8 “jumbo jet”.The 747, also known as the “Queen of the Skies”, can carry 364 people and is the largest plane in Lufthansa’s fleet.

The super-large planes normally fly transatlantic routes but have been
mostly grounded since the pandemic upended air travel.

READ ALSO: ‘I really needed a break’: Pandemic-weary Germans find freedom on Mallorca

“Lufthansa is taking extraordinary measures in order to respond to a significant increase in booking demand for flights to Palma de Mallorca,” the airline said in a statement.

The jumbo jet will be used for four weekends over July and August, it added, Europe’s key summer travel season.

Mallorca is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Germans and is sometimes affectionately referred to as Germany’s “17th state”.

Before the pandemic, around five million German tourists visited the island
each year.

READ ALSO: ‘Germans are coming back’: Spaniards sceptical over return of tourists

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