Most German tourists repatriated from Tunisia

16th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany's main tour operators said Sunday they had repatriated most of their approximately 5,000 holidaymakers from crisis-hit Tunisia and were making arrangements to bring the rest home.

REWE tourism group, who had around 2,100 clients in Tunisia, a popular holiday destination for Germans, said it had already flown 1,200 of them back in seven charter planes from airports in Monastir and Enfidha.

The firm said it had chartered five additional planes to bring home the remaining 900 holidaymakers from Djerba and Enfidha. This operation should be complete by Sunday evening, said REWE.

The group said it was suspending trips to Tunisia until January 24.

Competitor TUIFly said the remaining 30 of its approximately 1,000 clients were due to land at Duesseldorf airport early Sunday evening, with the rest already on home soil.

Thomas Cook said it was expecting to evacuate the last 200 of its some 2,000 sunseekers on Sunday night.

And German flag carrier Lufthansa said it had cancelled its scheduled service from Frankfurt to Tunis on Saturday night.

As the tourists were repatriated, Tunisia's main political parties negotiated the formation of a national unity government following the dramatic ouster of strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Soldiers patrolled the streets amid fears of a backlash from Ben Ali supporters, as around 1,500 protesters held a peaceful rally in the central Tunisian town of Regueb to condemn the political talks in the capital.

© 2011 AFP

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