Foreign Ministry Helps Stranded Israelis Come Home
The Foreign Ministry on Sunday assisted Israeli tourists who had been stranded in Rome after local airline Wind Jet went bankrupt and cancelled their flight.
Under the instructions of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the stranded tourists will return to Israel on a special flight on Sunday night. This was also made possible thanks to the assistance of the Transportation Ministry.
Despite the issue being a personal one between the Israeli tourists and the airline that canceled the flight, and although the Israeli authorities bear no liability in the matter, the various departments in the Foreign Ministry nevertheless worked together in order to help the stranded Israelis.
The Israelis who will come back on Sunday night will be required to pay a small fee of about 50 euros per passenger to board the special flight.
During the day, a representative of the Israeli Embassy in Rome came to the local airport to assist the tourists, and security was beefed up out of fear for their safety, in light of media reports about the group’s lengthy stay at the airport.
Airport management also handed out coupons, water and snacks to the stranded passengers.
The BBC reported on Sunday that the Sicily-based Wind Jet is now close to losing its operating license after takeover talks with Alitalia failed.
The report noted that further chaos is expected as some 300,000 passengers across Italy have booked tickets with Wind Jet in coming weeks.
Alitalia, Italy's national airline, has said it will help Wind Jet passengers to find alternative flights, but only on payment of supplements.
Lieberman said on Sunday that Israel makes efforts that no other nation makes to help its citizens who run into problems everywhere in the world. “The fact that all of Israel is responsible for one other is something which makes us unique and of which we should be proud,” he said.