German pilots have reportedly grounded more than 200 flights after refusing to be involved in the deportations of failed asylum-seekers.

Flight crews said they did not want to participate in sending people back to Afghanistan, where violence is still rife following years of war and occupation by Western forces.

Between January and September 222 flights were cancelled, according to German government figures, with most – 140 – coming at Frankfurt airport.

German media reported that 85 of the disrupted flights were on Lufthansa and its subsidiary, Eurowings.

Germany has been a popular destination for people arriving from abroad.

Chancellor Angela Merkel adopted a permissive stance to migration at the height of the recent crisis and in 2015, some 1.5 million people entered Germany, of which a third had come from living another EU country.

According to Die Welt, cited by US Today, Germany’s federal office for migration and refugees decided more than 388,000 asylum cases in the first half of this year.

At least one similar refusal is known to have taken place in the UK when British Airways pilot refused to take off while Samim Bigzad was on board earlier this year.

Mr Bigzad, an Afghan, faced deportation to the city where the Taliban had threatened to kill him before the pilot intervened, saying: “You’re not going to take him; I’m not flying. Someone’s life is at risk.”


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