To these flights, two others should be added, exceptionally: the one that will leave Caracas on May 23 with 265 passengers on board and that has had the organization and coordination of the Spanish Embassy in Venezuela; and Iberia's announcement yesterday of an extraordinary flight from Buenos Aires and in commercial conditions for next May 21.
Up to this point, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation has assisted more than 26,000 Spanish Since the start of the pandemic, it has chartered fifty of repatriation flights and the operations will conclude with more than 8,500 Spaniards repatriated directly with the collaboration of our network of Embassies and Consulates.
Most of the travelers who at the beginning of the crisis requested assistance from our network of Consulates and Embassies, have already managed to return, so now we are facing a different phase in which we observe that in Europe, commercial airways to return They are open to Spain, although direct connections have been considerably reduced. It is also possible to return by land, although it is advisable to contact the corresponding Consulate to observe possible restrictions established by local authorities.
In North America, although it has not been one of the areas that has presented the most complications, last week American Airlines began operating a direct flight from Dallas from Madrid and some airlines plan to organize more flights from June. On the other hand, Qatar Airways also plans to operate direct flights with Madrid and Barcelona from June 1 and many of the airlines try to recover some routes through which they can provide a service to all those Spaniards who are now trying to return to Spain.
Both due to the volume and the period in which the restrictions derived from COVID-19 were applied, Ibero-America has been one of the places where the greatest number of Spaniards were. There, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation had a special sensitivity, launching at the beginning of the crisis exclusive messages for the Spaniards who were in the area and dedicating the largest deployment of repatriation flights: a total of 32.
It should be remembered that repatriation flights are to facilitate the return of Spaniards who lack alternatives to leave the country; they are in a situation of special vulnerability; tourists (therefore, who do not have the infrastructure or family support to stay in the country) or residents of Spain who have to return due to force majeure.
The network of Embassies and Consulates of Spain has detected that most of the profiles of Spaniards do not meet these criteria and, therefore, would not enter the repatriation phase, so Spain interprets that the acute phase of the crisis is given by finished, as have other countries around us. However, Embassies and Consulates study case by case and try to offer solutions for each situation through permanent contact with each of those affected.