Over 200 flights scrapped at Rome airport

Over 200 flights were cancelled at Rome's Fiumicino airport on Friday as transport workers went on strike.

Over 200 flights scrapped at Rome airport
Over 200 flights were cancelled at Rome's Fiumicino aiport because of a transport strike. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

Out of these, about 80 Alitalia flights were cancelled, while many were delayed, as pilots and flight attendants staged an eight-hour walk-out. The strike is due to end at 6pm local time.

It was called by the Uiltraspori and Anpav unions in reaction to “unsatisfactory” responses from the company regarding flight operations and social security provisions since its merge with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad last year.

A strike by air traffic controllers and other transport staff with other unions also prompted European airlines to cancel flights, including British Airways, KLM, easyJet, Ryanair, Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Swissair, La Repubblica reported.

There was also disruption at Venice airport and Milan’s Linate and Malpensa due to a strike by air traffic controllers between 10am and 2pm.

The Italy strikes took place alongside a third day of action by pilots of the German airline, Lufthansa.

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Body of missing American tourist found in Rome’s River Tiber

The body of a missing 21-year-old tourist was found in the River Tiber on Thursday morning, according to media reports.

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome's River Tiber

Elijah Oliphant, from Dallas, Texas, was on holiday with his family in Rome when he went missing several days ago.

Oliphant’s parents reported his disappearance after he left his hotel room shortly after midnight on May 24th and did not return.

Hotel security footage showed him leaving the premises wearing a white undershirt and pyjama bottoms, which he was wearing when he was found.

Oliphant’s corpse was reportedly spotted by passersby near the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome’s Trastevere district around 10am on Thursday morning. His body was positively identified by his parents.

Members of the fire brigade and river police who recovered the body say there were no obvious signs of violence, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trastevere police are reportedly investigating the matter.

The Oliphant family had arrived in Rome for a holiday on May 23rd. When Elijah went missing the following day, his parents launched an urgent appeal to help find their son.

His disappearance was featured on the missing persons television show, Chi l’ha visto (‘Who’s seen them?’) on May 25th.

Several foreigners have been found drowned in the Tiber in recent years, though there are no indication that any of the incidents are linked.

In 2016, the body of 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon was recovered from the river.

Rough sleeper Massimo Galioto was charged involuntary manslaughter in the case, but was ultimately acquitted in 2020.

Prosecutors said that Galioto pushed Solomon in the course of a violent argument. Galioto’s defense team acknowledged that the two had argued but said the student had accidentally slipped.

In May 2019, 37-year-old Imen Chatbouri, a former athletics champion from Tunisia, was found dead in the Tiber after a night out. CCTV footage later showed she had been pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.

A then-26-year-old man whose advances she had rejected earlier that evening was convicted of her murder in November 2021.