Over 300 Filipino crew members of Sea Chefs and TUI Cruises left for the Philippines from Hamburg, Germany on May 24, 2020 via a chartered TUI Airlines flight.
The seafarers had been awaiting repatriation for the last two months after their usual cruise liner routes, mainly in the Caribbean region, were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part of several thousand Sea Chefs and TUI Cruises employees of different nationalities, the Filipino crew, were assisted at the send-off by TUI Staff, Philippine Ambassador to Germany Ma. Theresa Dizon-De Vega, and Labor Attaché Delmer Cruz.
Prior to departure, Ambassador Dizon-De Vega expressed appreciation to 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”. Ambassador Dizon-De Vega likewise thanked the companies for their coordination.
The Filipinos were briefed by Labor Attaché Cruz that they may apply for the government’s social amelioration program of AKAP at the different OWWA Regional Offices.