Calabrian officials have expressed outrage over an EasyJet ad mentioning the southern Italian region’s history of mafia and earthquakes.
In promotional copy for flights to Lamezia, which has since been taken down, EasyJet boasted Calabria’s “authenticity” despite a distinct lack of tourists, which the airline ruled up to “its history of mafia activity and earthquakes and the lack of iconic cities such as Rome or Venice that can attract Instagram fans,” according to The Local IT.
Italy’s minister for the south Peppe Provenzano posted to Twitter demanding Easyjet “apologise to Calabria and Italy”
— Peppe Provenzano (@peppeprovenzano) June 23, 2020
Calabrian governor, Jole Santelli said in a Facebook post that the ad was “offensive, distorted and had a clear racist flavour”.
Santelli said in a Facebook post that the best way for the airline to remedy the situation was to increase flights to the region.
EasyJet has since apologised to the Calabrian government and said it only wanted to point out that the region was overlooked by tourists. The airline will also launch an internal investigation into the advert, according to The New York Times.
This comes at a turbulent time for EasyJet, as the airline announced today it may need to reduce staff numbers by up to 30 per cent in response to the global pandemic.
The airline also said it may need to close three of its bases in the UK including Stansted, Southend and Newcastle.
Though Calabria, which is located in the southern tip of the boot-shaped country, is home to the ‘ndrangheta organised crime syndicate, it attracts a healthy number of tourists each summer with its beautiful rocket coastline and bright blue water.
The Local also points out it is the best place in Italy to find traces of Ancient Greek history, as the Greeks settled in the region prior to the Roman Empire.
Featured image: iStock/Sjo