MANILA – More than 300 Filipino crew members of two cruise ships arrived in the country on May 25 via a chartered TUI Airlines flight.
The seafarers, who left Hamburg, Germany on May 24, had been awaiting repatriation for the past two months after their usual cruise liner routes, mainly in the Caribbean region, were suspended due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
According to a news release, the Filipino crew, part of several thousand Sea Chefs and TUI Cruises employees of different nationalities, were assisted at the send-off by TUI staff, Philippine Ambassador to Germany Ma. Theresa Dizon-de Vega, and Labor Attaché Delmer Cruz.
Before boarding, de Vega thanked the Filipino crew for their patience and understanding.
“It has been a very difficult period for all of you and we look forward to the time when you can all come back to work in the cruise industry,” she said.
Cruz reminded the OFWs that they could apply for the government’s AKAP at the different regional offices of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. (ia/OWWA)