Charter deportations are flights where a whole plane is rented for the purpose of deporting as many people as possible simultaneously. Since the pandemic, Germany is increasingly using charter flights for deportations. Since 2021, around 50% of all deportations from Germany happen on charter flights. The other half of deportations happen on regular passenger flights.
Every flight is usually preceeded by midnight deportation raids throughout Germany, mostly in the region from where the flight is organised, but also from other parts of Germany. Most of these police raids happen the night before the flight, but can also happen weeks before and people are taken to a deportation prison. Usually police takes people to the airport around 5 hours before the planned departure of a charter deportation.
Most charter deportations are organised by Federal Police (BPOL) under orders from Germany's Ministery of Interior. BPOL receives a list of potential people to be be deported from the Ausländerbehörde (Migration Office). The Zentrum zur Unterstützung der Rückkehr (ZUR) coordinates between different German states (Länder). A few weeks before the planned flight, BPOL requests a travel agency to book a charter plane. Köln-based Air Partner GmbH has been contracted to book deportation charters. This travel agency then checks availabilty of certain airlines and presents to BPOL a few options, from which the cheapest is picked. The costs of almost all charter deportations are covered by Frontex, the EU border agency.
Besides charter deportations organised by BPOL, charters are sometimes organised by a certain German state without BPOL's involvement. For example, Baden-Württemberg organises regular charters on their own. There are also so-called Dublin deportation charters. Dublin deportations are not deportations to the country that someone fled from, but to the EU country that has taken the fingerprints of the person on their first arrival across EU borders. There are also so-called mini charters. These are deportation flights on smaller charter planes, where usually between 1 and 5 people are deported.
We see deportations as acts of racist violence; a practice, which upholds nationalism and global inequalities originating from colonialism and capitalism. Stopping deportations would be a fundamental step towards a fairer world. A world, in which all people can freely decide where they want to live.
No. They tried to make publishing dates of deportations illegal during the approval of the "Geordnete-Rückkehr-Gesetz", a package of new laws introduced in 2019. But it was not included in the final version of the law. We can expect they will try again.
We only publish verified information and we have a network of trusted sources. If you are not part of this network, we would be happy if you attach a picture of a "Haftbeschluß" that can verify the information you are giving to us. Sending us an email works best for us. Email encryption is possible. Make sure you can confirm it is indeed a charter! Many deportations happen that are not on a charter plane. Additional info we are interested about: from which airport, what departure time, what flight number?