Extended family (2 adults, 2 kids) is currently stuck in New Zealand because of the coronavirus. Their original return flight was cancelled. They are German citizens.

They now say they don't have any possibility to leave the country since all countries where a transfer would have to occur would not let them in, not even airside transfer! Is this true?

If not, what would prevent them from buying an AKL-MEL-DOH-FRA ticket? This seems to be the only possible and viable option that prevents immigration along the route or landing in another Schengen country before. Also, Qatar seems to be the only airline that is still flying from that area and directly into Frankfurt.

Or are the special return flights announced by the German government their only chance to come home?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Willeke
    Mar 28, 2020 at 5:54

3 Answers 3


For your proposed routing, Timatic currently says:

  • Transit - Australia (AU)

    • Passengers are not allowed to transit or enter Australia.
    • Passengers departing from New Zealand with a confirmed onward ticket on the same calendar day to return home are allowed to transit through Australia. They must remain airside and must have not been in China (People's Rep.), Iran, Italy or Korea (Rep.) in the past 14 days.


Visa required, except for Nationals of Germany transiting through Brisbane (BNE), Darwin (DRW) or Melbourne (MEL) with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight to a third country within 8 hours. They must stay in the international transit area of the airport and have documents required for the next destination.

  • Transit - Qatar (QA)

TWOV (Transit Without Visa): Visa required, except for Passengers with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight to a third country within 24 hours. They must stay in the international transit area of the airport and have documents required for the next destination.

So it should be possible if they can book that itinerary as a single ticket (so that luggage is checked through).

I can't find this itinerary, however I see AKL-DOH-FRA on Qatar Airways on Sunday.

  • 5
    Thanks! That's really weird... 40 minutes ago the AKL-DOH-FRA connection was 8000€ per person and I saw AKL-MEL-DOH-FRA for 2100€ per persion. Wow. Things change quickly. Now the fast connection is only 1840€ and the connection via MEL doesn't show up any more. I have to tell them!
    – 8192K
    Mar 26, 2020 at 16:45
  • 30
    Contact the German embassy and request evacuation. That won't be a high priority but if there are enough EU citizens in the same situation to fill a plane, who knows?
    – o.m.
    Mar 26, 2020 at 17:05
  • 2
    @o.m. They've done that, but it might take a long time.
    – 8192K
    Mar 26, 2020 at 17:06
  • 5
    @Sebastian Rescue flights are being out together right now - stuff.co.nz/business/120582267/…
    – user29788
    Mar 26, 2020 at 18:11
  • 3
    @gerrit Sure. But it would still be safer. Mar 27, 2020 at 13:40

Have they looked at the German Embassy site for New Zealand?

The first link of that page leads to the Covid-19: Informationen für Reisende page that gives details about the present situation.

Have they registred in the ELEFAND as well at the www.rueckholprogramm.de?

  • the latter is needed so that the Embassy knows who needs help

Hierfür gilt unverändert: Eine Registrierung bei der Krisenvorsorgeliste „ELEFAND“ ersetzt nicht die Registrierung bei www.rueckholprogramm.de

Without this information the Embassy will not know who needs help, nor be able to plan for the needed capacities.

The return program (Rückholaktion) is expected to take up to 2 more weeks (2020-03-27 06:47) for most cases. More difficult cases (peaple in isolated areas) may take longer. Source: Liveblog zur Corona-Krise

I have another EU nationality, not German. Can I fly too?
For people who have another EU nationality, we will try to find a solution within the capacities.



The Deutschlandfunk news today talked about the recovery flights and mentioned that smaller Pacific islands were difficult, so they were going to stage the recovery through New Zealand.

At a wild guess, the flight(s) would carry Germans stuck in NZ, too.

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