Recovery operation due to Covid-19: vehicle transport from Chile back to France

The Corona pandemic unsettled many people. This situation was and still is especially difficult for people who are abroad. Anxiety grows as does the desire to return home to family and friends. And even if you are not allowed to see or embrace them, the longing for the homeland is great in such a crisis.


Laurent and Angie, a Franco-Canadian couple living in Alsace, set off on a great 12-month adventure in November 2019. The plan was to travel from Colombia to Argentina, along the South American coast, before heading back via Uruguay and Paraguay, right across the South American continent.
Then came Corona, and this wonderful journey was interrupted by the Covid-19 crisis.

On  April 12, 2020, the couple found out about the repatriation operation organized for all French nationals. At the same time, there were rumors that the Schengen borders would be closed until September 2020.

Angie and Laurent did not want to take the risk of being stranded in Chile indefinitely. There was exactly one and only flight for the return trip - those who did not show up at Santiago airport on 15 April at the specified time would need to make their own arrangements for a return flight. Needless to say, the couple decided to take this flight.

But what about their own vehicle? Laurent and Angie set out to find a solution. They contacted friends and colleagues trying to find out possibilities to organize the transport of their vehicle back to Europe on such a short notice. And they found a solution…however, the harbor from where the vehicle could be shipped was three days away from their location at the time. And in only two days, they were supposed to be on a plane to France. A seemingly hopeless situation.

Until a friend suggested: "Just call Massimo at the ITS in Basel" and gave them Massimo’s mobile phone number.

“It was 11:30 pm on Easter Sunday. We sent a message to Massimo and within a few minutes, we were holding a videoconference with him. He was able to reassure us and organize a driver to take our car to San Antonio. There, the vehicle had to be completely disinfected to rule out Covid-19 contamination for transport, and we could concentrate fully on our journey home. Massimo saved us from this rather tricky situation!”

Laurent and Angie returned safely back to France, and ITS made sure that their vehicle arrived in Alsace without any complications. After Corona, Laurent and his wife will most certainly resume their great adventure. ITS wishes them a good preparation and a pleasant journey - and in case of a transport emergency, they now have Massimo's mobile phone number!

To the travel report of Angie and Laurent