Lufthansa's tribute to New Zealanders during coronavirus pandemic

A Lufthansa plane taking Germans home during the COVID-19 pandemic flew low over Auckland on Friday in a tribute to New Zealanders.

The A380 plane delighted Aucklanders when it completed a flyby over Waitemata at 9:50am before heading out over the city where it will fly to Bangkok to refuel, and then carry on to Germany.

The flight is one of 12 taking tourists back to Germany, Austria and Switzerland who have been stuck in Auckland and Christchurch.

The plane flew oer central Auckland on it's way to Bangkok, Thailand where it will stop over before heading on to Germany.
The plane flew oer central Auckland on it's way to Bangkok, Thailand where it will stop over before heading on to Germany. Photo credit: Supplied

"We are honoured to fly people back home in these extraordinary times," Alain Chisari, the Asia-Pacific manager for Lufthansa, previously told Newshub.

"Carrying out repatriation flights and flying half-way around the world is the responsibility of Lufthansa."

Auckland Airport's General Manager Aeronautical Commercial Scott Tasker says the flyby was a "wonderful tribute to the many Kiwis who had helped stranded German travellers trying to get home".

"Since the first repatriation flight last Saturday, we've had 16 of these special flights with a range of chartered carriers carrying 6700 passengers home. 

"It's an emotional time, and we're proud of our frontline staff who have done so much to help those travellers."

Lufthansa had never flown to New Zealand before its first repatriation flight on March 28, which flew to Frankfurt via Tokyo.

Tasker says the flights are able to happen thanks to the goodwill and efforts of a range of organisations working hard to bring people home.

Aucklanders have taken to social media to share pictures and videos of the low aircraft with many noting the clear blue sky made it a great day for the flyover.

"Tinged with a little sadness seeing a Lufthansa A380 doing a final flyover salute before returning German nationals home," one commenter wrote.

"That was such a beautiful sight to see, we saw it out walking as well. What a fantastic thing to do," a Devonport local who saw the plane says.

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