Despite the improvement in the health situation, Algeria has only partially reopened its borders. For dual nationals, as the Ramadan period is fast approaching, finding a plane ticket is impossible. At the microphone of Europe 1, several Algerian nationals testify to their anger.
Ramadan begins this Saturday, April 2 and those for a month. This major meeting of Muslim worship is an opportunity for family reunions. Reunions that have often been spoiled for two years, with the Covid crisis, in particular for those who have relatives in Algeria.
“A flight to New York is cheaper than Algiers”
Opposite the Arc de Triomphe on Place Jules Guesdes, Karim tells us, with a heavy heart, that he intends to give up on his family reunion. Once again, he will not be able to go to Algeria: “I would have liked to go there, it has been two years since I was able to go there. It is cheaper to go to New York currently than to go to Algiers. I saw tickets at 900 euros round trip!”, He explains, very angry.
“To go to the other side of the Mediterranean, it’s inadmissible. Recently I wanted to go back at the last minute following the death of a friend’s mother, I found a ticket for 1,700 euros, it’s maddening. It’s families that are torn apart today.”
Algerians torn between anger and misunderstanding
Such a ticket cost around 150 euros before the Covid crisis. But since the partial reopening of the Algerian borders, the candidates are numerous, and the tickets rare, as Amar Tazir of the Atlas travel agency deplores: “Before, there were 40 flights a week from Marseille, always full, to there and back,” he explains. “Today, there are two weekly flights. One for Algiers, the other for Oran. There is a very strong demand. Imagine, there are 230,000 Algerians registered at the Algerian consulate in Marseilles. If I go out there on Instead, it will take me an hour to get home, every two meters, someone will ask me for a solution to find a plane ticket.
Like Karim, Amar is very aggressive: “It’s shameful to do that, because it’s the unfortunate who will pay the bill and the airlines, they are crocodiles, they eat everything.”
He himself paid a considerable sum last summer to go to the west of the country. Like his clients, he is torn between anger and incomprehension. Nobody here understands why the Algerian power maintains these restrictions unlike its Tunisian and Moroccan neighbors.