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MOSCOW, August 14 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s UTair airline will make chartered flights from Rostov-on-Don to Rimini and back on Wednesday for transporting passengers of the bankrupt Italian low coster Wind Jet, a source in the airline told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
“The airline has applied for chartered flight permits to the Federal Air Transport Agency and the Italian aviation authorities,” he said. “It is planned to make a flight from Rostov-on-Don to Rimini at 10:40 p.m. Moscow time on August 15 and to fly back from Rimini at 1:00 a.m. local time on August 16. We will use a Boeing 737-500 with 114 seats.”
The Pac Group tour operator and UTair are negotiating further shuttle flights between Rostov-on-Don and Rimini.
The called-off deal with Alitalia exacerbated the Wind Jet crisis. The low coster declared suspension of its activity at 2:00 p.m. Moscow time. The decision affected most passengers taking internal routes to Sicily. Three hundred passengers spent the night at the Rome Airport and departed to Catania in the morning.
All the Wind Jet flights to Russia were cancelled on Sunday, although a jet flew from Pisa to the Moscow Domodedovo Airport with a long delay on Saturday.
According to the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC), 300,000 Wind Jet tickets were sold through October, but transportation was not guaranteed other than in August.
“I guarantee transportation of all the passengers in August. We have created a crisis center, which undertakes Wind Jet commitments jointly with Alitalia, Airone and Meridiana,” ENAC President Vito Riggio said, adding that passengers would have to pay 80 euros extra on domestic routes. “The extra fee may be larger on international routes depending on the operator,” he added.
Livingstone, a new Italian private airline with a fleet of ten Airbus jetliners, will transport passengers to Moscow, St. Petersburg and Rostov.
Five Italian companies, primarily Alitalia, which added 20 flights to the tourist season schedule, were appointed to substitute Wind Jet flights in August. The Alitalia CEO said they were losing 80,000 euros per day because of that.
A Rossiya airline brought approximately 90 Russian tourists from Italy to St. Petersburg on Tuesday morning. The tourists had been unable to return home since August 12.