30-03-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo
A few hours after the publication of the return flight organized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in Kenya and arranged by the charter company Neos for tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31, the debate between Italian holidaymakers who are currently in Kenya, residents and workers who would like to return to their country is strong.
The main reason for the dispute is obviously the price of the ticket, set at 1400 euros for the Mombasa-Nairobi-Milan Malpensa route.
For many this is a disproportionate amount, for some even a "cut", others were convinced that the Italians abroad, even if they stayed on holiday, deserved a free repatriation.
On the other hand, other fellow-citizens responded, giving them explanations or appealing to them as visionaries, naive or even worse, "golden exile slysters".
Polemics mostly sterile, as they often know how to be those of social networks, full of rage and, if it goes well, good-natured irony. Which, however, scrolling through 360 degrees, give us an authentic image of what we are, with the mitigating effect of an unprecedented period of stress. But those who have been in the sun and the sea until two days ago should certainly have less than those who live in Val Seriana or in Milan.
It is worth remembering that the Embassy pushed hard for this flight, which was by no means guaranteed in a tight schedule, as there is still no real emergency of any kind in Kenya. The stop to flights to and from the country was given only five days ago and with a notice of three and a half days, useful for those who had real needs to return to book a return flight with as many as three airlines. In fact, it is estimated that about 250 compatriots have done so. These were people with problems deriving from the administration of medicines whose supply was running out, or with difficult situations at home and other reasons. Or simply responsible citizens who did not want to depend on a commercial state flight. Not least because, when we published the news of the flight organisation process, there was talk of a paid flight at an unsuspecting time.
Now, the fact that someone was hoping for a fare similar to that of a charter flight in the low season may well be legitimate, just as it must be logical, however, that when faced with an explanation everyone should understand that this cannot be the case. A charter flight lives on the filling of the aircraft outward and return, on some seats purchased "empty for full" and on some discounts that are part of agreements between the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism and the international tour operators that bring passengers to Kenya.
All this is not part of a commercial state flight, where in practice the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asks a company to operate on its behalf a service for its compatriots.
Neos has been chosen because it has already been operating that route for a long time and has agreements with Kenya, so surely the one of the Italian charter company is as low as possible. It's worth remembering that all the return flights of compatriots in the world are currently paid for, precisely because this is a service and not an emergency, there is no state of war or situations for which it is the host states who ask that our compatriots have to leave.
Luigi Corticelli, Air Italy's Caposcalo in Mombasa for years, explains how this price of the return ticket was formulated.
"Our Foreign Ministry entrusted the task to a private company like Neos, expert on the MXP- F.CO- MBA- NBO and return route - explains Corticelli - that's why they fixed the cost of the ticket in € 1,399. 99 per person: the plane must depart empty (therefore with 50% more expenses to be covered for loss of earnings) and with double crew because of the maximum 12 hours of flight that the "crew" can do, the health regulations require a sufficient distance from one passenger and the other and I assume that you arrive at a maximum total of about 120/130 passengers to board. The more there are, as the company itself points out on its website, 100 euros each of fuel tax and 45 of airport tax. That is why the cost shown will perhaps not even cover the costs. So the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has only done the courtesy of renting a flight, nothing more".
To those who instead complain about the route (when it was supposed to land only in Rome, the "Nordic" were storming us with messages, now it's the "terroni" who rave, we can say that it's not absolutely certain that after this flight there will be another one.
A little more patience for Italian tourists who thought they could return to Italy from Kenya with the ...
Kenya is closing its borders indefinitely.
The NEOS company will open today the bookings for the State repatriation flight f
by Freddie del Curatolo
After the announced repatriation flight for Italians stationed in Kenya, the Embassy of Italy in...
The snow which has attacked these days Istanbul has made it difficult to return to dozens of compatriots who were to finish their holiday in Malindi and Watamu these days.
by Freddie del Curatolo
The fourth and probably last state return flight from Kenya to Italy organized by the Italian...