The former hostages boarded a flight to France from Djibouti. They will be welcomed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy upon arrival at Orly airport near Paris. (Story: C. Norris -Trent)
The hostages freshly liberated from the Ponant, the French cruise ship which Somali pirates held captive for a week, arrived at the Djibouti airport Monday morning to be repatriated to France, according to an AFP correspondent.
They were brought to Djibouti by a helicopter from the French navy’s Jeanne d’Arc helicopter carrier that patrolling off the coast of Djibouti.
The hostages were to be received by Djibouti authorities before boarding a French Airbus to France on Monday night, according to a French official source.
The 30-member Ponant crew was freed on Friday, a week after the luxury cruise ship was hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia. Six of the pirates involved were arrested in Somalia by the French Special Forces.
Date created : 2008-04-14