Three planes bringing back Swiss tourists stranded abroad due to the crisis caused by the new coronavirus landed in Zurich on Tuesday and Wednesday. The flights came from Costa Rica, Morocco and Colombia.
A third flight landed Wednesday morning at Zurich airport, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) reported on Twitter. With on board 279 Swiss and 35 nationals of neighboring countries from Bogota.
One flight marked by an incident: two passengers were aggressive, making threats against other passengers and crew members. In order to ensure the safety of the flight, the two people were tied up and handed over to the Zurich police on arrival, a spokesman for the Edelweiss company told Keystone-ATS, confirming information from the “Blick”.
On Tuesday, 151 people were repatriated from San José, Costa Rica. And a second plane chartered by the FDFA had landed in the evening at the Zurich airport from Casablanca with about 130 Swiss nationals on board. All will have to submit to a quarantine of ten days.
Another repatriation flight is scheduled for Thursday morning from Lima, Peru. The FDFA plans to bring a total of 750 people to Switzerland by Thursday.
Dozens of planned flights
During the coming weeks, the Confederation plans several dozen flights to destinations in particular to Latin America, Asia and Africa. Thursday, a link is scheduled for Dakar, Senegal, Saturday another for Santiago de Chile.
The FDFA will reveal the exact destinations once the details have been settled with the airlines and the Swiss missions on site have been informed. Flights are pre-funded by the Confederation, but passengers must share the costs. It is still too early to calculate the cost of the operation.
The number of passengers on board each flight varies widely. The FDFA works with other countries to coordinate returns and exploit synergies. Some flights are organized by Bern, others in partnership with other capitals.
Thousands of Swiss are currently abroad. Some 17,000 people have registered with the Travel Admin application.