There have been chaotic scenes at Sicily’s Catania airport where hundreds of passengers are stranded after the collapse of Italian low cost airline Wind Jet.
Efforts by national carrier Alitalia to buy the company out have failed and offers by other airlines to fly the passengers – for a price – have yet to come into effect.
“We paid 424 euros to Wind Jet for two adults and two children. Now we have had to pay an extra 339 euros to go from Catania to Verona,” said one woman.
And a man added: “Unless the Minister of Transport does something, the situation will be serious. I’ve been here 24 hours, I should have got a plane to Florence, to go back to work. My holidays are about to finish. This is the problem. It’s chaos.’‘
Wind Jet flights stopped on Sunday night, in the middle of Italy’s holiday season. Catania’s mayor, Rafaele Stancanelli, went to the airport to assess the situation in person.
On the phone to the civil aviation authority, he said both passengers and airline staff were furious and he would take their plight up with the development minister.
At the same time, a Wind Jet pilot said staff were ready to work for free to secure passengers’ journeys.
It is not just Sicily that has been affected. Hundreds more travellers were stuck at Rome airport and Wind Jet has taken some 300,000 bookings up until the end of October.