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Campaigners strike blow against deportation flights – XL Airways pull out

After sustained pressure by anti-deportation campaigners, one of the airline carriers XL Airways has announced its pull out from further deportation flights. XL was identified for its carrying out of a deportation from UK to the Democratic Republic of Congo in February 2007. It was later subject to a direct action during the Camp for Climate Action at Heathrow when it seemed likely that XL would be the carrier for a further deportation to DR Congo in August. This action was followed by demonstrations across Britain by the Congolese community and its supporters. XL Airways was at pains to convince opponents it would not be the carrier for the latter deportation (which was in any case halted in the courts), pending a Country Guidance Tribunal for DR Congo. Now it has been forced to announce its pull out altogether.

Other airlines are now facing direct action for their involvement in deportations including British Airways and Virgin Airlines.This follows a recent expose (in the Independent newpaper) of racism and assault at asylum seeker removal centres, especially by private prison ‘escort teams’ who are paid to take people back to their home countries.

Sustained pressure is needed to get these flights stopped and to against detention of asylum seekers altogether.

It’s not just DR Congo either… read more.
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