Italy Upset With easyJet Over Mafia Claims

easyJet has apologized after its description of the Italian region of Calabria drew widespread criticism. On its website, easyJet called Calabria a region that is less popular due to its history of mafia activity and earthquakes. The description has since been removed, with many calling it an insult to the region. Let’s find out more.

easyJet A320
With travel restrictions easing, easyJet is hoping to attract passengers again. Photo: easyJet

New push for travel

easyJet is currently promoting many of its destinations in a bid to get people traveling once again. However, in this instance, the airline’s strong PR campaign hasn’t had the success it was hoping for. easyJet flies to the town of Lamezia, which is a city in the Calabria region. The description of the Calabria region tried to attract flyers by noting the city’s lack of popularity with tourists. The exact description said:

“For a true taste of whirlwind Italian living, it has to be Calabria. The region is distinctly lacking in tourists, thanks to a history of mafia activity and earthquakes – and no city as iconic as Rome or Venice to draw in the Instagrammers”

Calabria Region
The Calabria region has a beautiful landscape and rich culture. Photo: Pixabay

The description received stark criticism from a number of residents of the Calabria region along with Italy’s government. A Member of the European Parliament from the region called the description “shameful” and one which will drive tourists away from the region. Other leaders demanded an apology from easyJet.

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easyJet apologizes

easyJet quickly apologized for the description and took it down, highlighting that it was only trying to promote tourism to the region. In a statement, the airline said it was trying to show Calabria is an underestimated tourist attraction and hoped to bring more travelers to the region.

Moreover, the airline said that it flies to Lamezia from three cities and provides important connectivity. It will also investigate on how this happened.

easyjet gatwick getty images
easyJet highlighted that it flies three routes to Lamezia, providing key connectivity to the Calabria region. Photo: Getty Images

Tourism is an extremely important industry in Europe, especially in Italy where it makes up over 11% of the GDP. The coronavirus has decimated the travel industry at large, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

As Europe slowly emerges from its lockdown, both airlines and countries are trying to attract customers once again. easyJet has restarted a number of routes to Italy, flying to Milan, Bari, Catania, Lamezia, and more.

easyJet resumes flights

easyJet recently restarted operations after nearly three months on the ground. Currently, the airline is flying limited routes but is hoping to scale up its route map in the coming months as demand rises. However, with leisure travel still at a fraction of previous levels, easyJet is making significant cuts to its workforce and future plans.

easyJet Parked Planes
easyJet resumed services last week, after 11 weeks on the ground. Photo: easyJet

The coming months will be difficult for the budget carrier as it deals with the economic fallout of the coronavirus. However, hopefully, easyJet will also be sure to verify the details on its website before publishing in the future.

What do you think about easyJet’s ad? Will you fly with them soon? Let us know in the comments.