The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, through the General Directorate for Spaniards Abroad and Consular Affairs, has coordinated almost 40 flights since the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic began. These flights organized and co-financed by Foreign are not free. Most of these flights are operated by Spanish flag commercial airlines with prices established by the companies themselves. In those cases in which there are no viable commercial alternatives, it has been decided to charter planes under the European Civil Protection Mechanism, which also implies the signing of a refund commitment for each passenger, just like the rest of the countries do. Europeans. Each passenger who is forced to take this option to leave the country in which they are located, must thus assume this copayment regime, both in the case of flights organized by Spain and in those that it coordinates with other countries of the Union. They also do not offer free tickets to their nationals.
Meanwhile, the operations of Spanish Embassies and Consulates that allow the return of Spanish tourists continue. There are already 27 flights that have allowed the return of Spaniards until the beginning of this week, and to which we will have to add in the next few days five flights from Argentina, three from Peru, one from Ireland and another one from Venezuela.
They will also return a large group of Spanish tourists and crew from different cruises that have landed in Italy and return to Spain in different buses. At the same time, the Spanish Embassy and Consulate in Rome have made intense efforts to concentrate the Spaniards who were in the southern half of the country and who leave this morning on a chartered flight, on commercial terms, from Rome to Madrid. with 224 passengers on board, of which 185 are Spanish.
Thanks to the efforts of the Spanish Embassy in Poland, it has also facilitated the return of some thirty Spaniards who, together with another group that today travels to Las Palmas from Warsaw, are already approaching the half thousand Spaniards who have come from that country with diplomatic support . Four other Spaniards received the support of the Consulate in Paris in their transit from Angola; four Spaniards were also able to get on the plane that took off from Sofia to Madrid to pick up Bulgarian citizens in Spain; and from Moldova a Spanish woman left for London and from there to Madrid with the help of the Spanish Embassy.
From Latin America, although most of the operations are expected on successive days, today a plane with 350 Spaniards and 38 other EU nationals leaves Buenos Aires for Madrid. This will be followed by another tomorrow along with three others on successive days. Also from Peru, three other flights are planned to depart the Spaniards who now want to leave and after the Spanish Embassy and the Consulate have answered 11,585 phone calls and 14,080 emails since March 16.
Those telephones and e-mail remain open 24 hours a day in all Spanish Embassies and Consulates to attend to Spaniards who are looking for solutions to return. As are also at your disposal the "Aloja" platform for all those who, due to the severe restrictions that are imposed in the different countries as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, find their return to Spain delayed and can obtain an alternative accommodation by this means set in motion by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation.