Like an intercontinental trip. Fly in Sicily per Natale costs more than a ticket for New York. A flight Ita Airways and Milano indeed, for the Big Apple with departure on December 23rd and return on January 8th it costs 604 euro. On the same dates, however, a flight from Milano per Catania costa 834 euro. More than 200 euro difference for a domestic flight with the national airline which offers a slightly cheaper trip to Palermo: only 703 euro. It goes a little better with Ryanair where return flights always on the same dates only reach the fare of 391 euro (but only in the first screen, in the following ones the price would go up with the additional services), a breath lower if the destination is Palermo instead: only 366 euros. On the other hand, it costs at least 494 euros to travel on the same route but with Easyjet. Almost identical (493) the price of a ticket from Rome to Palermo with Ita. If you choose instead Ryanair it takes at least 305 euros to go from the capital to the Sicilian capital.
Also this year, therefore, the many Sicilians who live and work outside the island will be forced to face very high costs if they want to go home for Christmas. Costs against which he railed Renato Schifani: “The Sicilian Region will report the matter to the Authority Antitrust, involving the best expert lawyers in the sector. But we also need more attention from the government ”. A complaint to the Competition and Market Authority and a rebuke to the government of Giorgia Meloni by the new governor, because “the scandal of the high price of flights that has hit Sicilians for some time must find an immediate and effective response”. Schifani says that he himself was a victim of the situation: “Next Wednesday – he says – I will have to return to Palermo from Rome in the evening, but there are no more seats on the plane due to the scarcity of flights made available by Ita. I will therefore return from Naples by ship. And, like me, there are many Sicilians who will find themselves in this same situation. I wonder: can all this be considered normal in a country like ours?”.
But the exorbitant holiday tariffs for the island’s inhabitants have long been the subject of debate in Sicilian politics. Also Nello Musumeci attempted, with the bank of Giancarlo Cancelleriundersecretary for transport of the M5sto give a swerve to the dear flights. In 2020, the then president of the region even said live on Radio 1 that the “national airline (Alitalia, ed) risks appearing as a pirate company”. You said it on the same day that the Sicilian mayors – Leoluca Orlando, then mayor of Palermo, in the lead – protested against the increase in flight prices during the holidays. Shortly after Cancelleri announced the discount of 30 percent, a social rate that went to relieve the pockets of Sicilian emigrants returning for the holidays. But now everything has to be redone: “It is unacceptable – explains Schifani – that undermining the right to mobility of citizens is a company with totally public capital such as Itaengaged in a sign with Ryanair on route Palermo-Rome as the only carriers to operate on that route. I therefore return to ask the government to make itself heard, and in particular to the Mef, to which we have also posed other urgent issues for some time on which we have not yet obtained answers. The great work and commendable commitment of Minister Urso on the matter Lukoilwith the saving of thousands of jobs, demonstrate that, if desired, problems can be solved”.
And Rome to Palermoin fact, with departure on December 23 and return on January 8, the trip offered by Ita Airways it costs 492 euros. Little compared to what Ita offers to fly from capital in Catania: 714 euro, with a cost that therefore rises by more than 200 euros between western and eastern Sicily. For this Schifani asked to Adolfo UrsoMinister of Enterprise and of the Made in Italy to intervene again, this time on Ita: “During a cordial telephone call, I asked the minister to be able to intervene on Ita, a company with totally public capital, to eliminate the scandal of expensive flights which is shamefully penalizing connections to and from Sicily with the continent. The dear tickets these days it is clearly the result of a cartel that Ita cannot and must not join. It cannot be accepted that citizens’ right to mobility is so seriously harmed”. And Urso’s response, also of Sicilian origins, was not long in coming: “On the expensive flight which limits the right to mobility, slows down tourism development, increases costs for businesses and in any case also fuels the inflationary spiral, it takes reasonableness – says the minister – especially on the part of a publicly owned carrier undergoing privatisation”. But the Sicilian deputies of the Democratic Party also joined the protest by presenting a question in answer filed in the commission to the Minister of European Affairs, the South and Pnrr Raffaele Fitto and to the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Matthew Salvini asking “what initiatives does the government intend to take, with the utmost urgency, to promote a meeting with the airlines in order to bring the cost of tickets back to levels of congruity and accessibility for everyone, guaranteeing the right to reach Sicily”.