Five unions representing the controllers called for a strike between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm (1200-1600 GMT), union sources said on Sunday.
In addition, air transport employees have been asked to go off duty on Monday, except during two guaranteed three-hour periods of service from 7:00-10:00 am and from 6:00-9:00 pm.
Italian air carrier Alitalia announced that around 40 percent of its domestic and international flights have been cancelled. Travellers are advised to check the status of their flight before going to the airport, while Alitalia has committed to rebook passengers affected by the cancellations on the first available flights.
A full list of the cancelled flights (in English) can be viewed here.
Also on Monday, the government as well as the management and unions of Alitalia are set to hold talks over planned cuts at the airline.
Alitalia, facing fierce competition from low-cost carriers like Ryanair, is expected to cut 2,000 jobs and slash salaries by nearly a third, moves opposed by the unions which have called for a strike at the Italian carrier on April 5th.
The company is de facto controlled by Etihad Airways. which acquired a 49 percent stake when it saved Alitalia from bankruptcy in 2014.
The Emirati airline entered the partnership declaring its intention to transform Alitalia into a leaner operation with industry-leading service standards – both goals it has failed to deliver, according to industry analysts.
The latest survival plan involves cutting costs by one billion euros ($1.07 billion) by the end of 2019 whilst simultaneously growing sales by 30 percent.