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TRAVEL NEWS

Ryanair announces new UK-Italy flight routes as travel recovery continues

Amid the revival of travel to and from Italy, budget airline Ryanair announced it is putting on several new Italian routes this winter.

Ryanair announces new UK-Italy flight routes as travel recovery continues
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Ryanair has announced several new routes between London and airports in Italian cities as it hailed the recovery of travel “to pre-Covid levels”.

The low-cost airline’s winter 2021 schedule will include flights from London Stansted to Trapani and Treviso, and from Luton to Naples and Turin.

READ ALSO: What changes for tourists coming to Italy in September?

The additions came after Ryanair and budget competitor Wizz Air both announced their “biggest ever” Italian domestic flight schedules in spring 2021.

The latest set of new routes were announced this week as the Italian government relaxed its entry rules for UK arrivals from Tuesday.

This means passengers can now enter Italy from the UK without following five-day quarantine and double-testing rules – as long as they can prove they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have tested negative before travel.

The rule change is expected to be a further boost for Italy’s tourism industry, which has enjoyed a better-than-expected summer season in 2021.

A study by Italian tourism and commerce agency CNA on Wednesday said the country attracted six million foreign visitors in July and August – a far lower number than in pre-pandemic years, but more than expected at the start of the season – as well as a record number of Italian holidaymakers travelling within their own country.

The agency said this was an “unexpected result” and attributed the rise in international tourism to “the positive effects of the ‘green pass’ health certificate’, Italian media reports.

READ ALSO: What Covid-19 tests do I need for travel between Italy and the UK?

Italy however remains on England’s travel ‘amber’ list, which means arrivals must take multiple coronavirus tests, usually PCR tests, whether or not they are vaccinated, and also isolate for ten days if they are not viewed as fully vaccinated under the British government’s rules.

Ryanair this week also called on the UK government to scrap its PCR testing requirement for fully-vaccinated arrivals and to cut APD (air passenger duty) to give airlines and airports a boost.

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TRAVEL NEWS

What does Italy’s general strike on Friday mean for travel?

Italian trade unions have called a nationwide general strike for Friday, May 20th. Here's a look at how travel within the country will be affected.

What does Italy’s general strike on Friday mean for travel?

The strike has been organised by a range of national and regional trade unions representing various sectors in protest at the Italian government’s spending on the Ukraine war.

Union leaders say the funds should be targeted instead at increasing workers’ wages and, in turn, families’ purchasing power.

Walter Montagnoli, national secretary of the CUB union, told SkyTG24: “The conflict needs to be stopped. […] Draghi’s government is taking military expenses to 2 percent of our GDP: national defence expenses will go from 25 to 38 billion euros, thus reducing the budget for healthcare, education, public transport, the construction industry and, naturally, pensions and wages.”

Demonstrations are set to take place in cities across Italy, including in Milan, Rome, Messina, Palermo, Catania, Cagliari, Turin, Bologna, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Turin, Genoa, La Spezia, Reggio Emilia, Trieste, Bergamo and Taranto, according to media reports.

Strike action is otherwise expected to focus on the transport sector, meaning some disruption to travel plans is likely – depending on where you are in Italy and what time you’ll be travelling.

Here’s a look at what you should know before setting out on your journey on Friday. 

Train services 

Railroad services will be affected for a period of 24 hours, from 9pm on Thursday to 9pm on Friday.

However, Trenitalia has already communicated that Freccia and Intercity trains will run regularly and essential regional services will be guaranteed in the following time frames: 6am to 9am and 6pm to 9pm.

If you’re travelling with Italo, the company has published a list of its guaranteed services on its website

Local public transport 

Local public transport including buses, trams and metro trains in Italian towns and cities will also be affected by the strike action, but the magnitude of disruption to regular services will depend largely upon the area.

Rome and Milan will likely be the most affected cities.

In Milan, metro trains will run regularly until at least 6pm, whereas buses and tram services may be affected between 8.45am and 3pm and after 6pm.

In the capital, local transport providers ATAC and TPL said services will operate normally before 8.30am and from 5pm to 8pm.

If you’ll be commuting, you’re advised to consult the website of your local transport provider before setting off.

Flights

The ENAC (Italian Civil Aviation Authority) confirmed that all flights between 7am and 10am and between 6pm and 9pm will operate as normal.

However, they strongly suggest that travellers contact their airline to check the status of their flight before leaving for the airport.

See ENAC’s website for further information.

Travelling by car

Travelling by car might also be fairly problematic (or more problematic than it usually is) as motorway toll booth staff are set to strike from 10pm on Thursday to 10pm on Friday.

While the impact may differ from one part of the country to another, this is likely to mean a smaller number of toll booths are open and, as a result, lines at some motorway entrances will be longer than usual.

Drivers are advised to consult motorway operator Autostrade per l’Italia’s traffic map for real-time updates.

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