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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Italian low-cost airline staff to strike on October 1st

Pilots and flight attendants from Ryanair and Vueling will strike on Saturday, October 1st over wages and working conditions, unions said.

Italian low-cost airline staff to strike on October 1st

Pilots and cabin crew from Ryanair and Vueling will take part in a national strike action on Saturday, October 1st, Italian unions confirmed in a statement released on Monday. 

The statement said Ryanair staff will hold a 24-hour walkout, whereas Vueling staff will strike for a total of four hours, from 1pm to 5pm.

At the time of writing it wasn’t yet clear how the strike would affect passengers, though significant delays or cancellations can’t be ruled out. 

Italian trade unions Filt-Cgil and Uiltrasporti called the strike in protest against the employers’ failure to “grant acceptable working conditions and wages that are in line with minimum national salaries”. 

Unions also slammed Spanish airline Vueling’s decision to lay off 17 flight attendants based in Rome’s Fiumicino Airport “after months of hard work and professionalism”. 

A Vueling Airbus A320 plane.

Staff from Spanish airline Vueling will strike over working conditions and the recent lay-off of 17 flight attendants. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

The upcoming strike will be the latest in a long series of demonstrations that rocked Europe’s airline industry over the summer, causing significant disruption to thousands of air passengers. 

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

The last significant strike was held on Monday of last week, when a 24-hour national strike from unionised ground staff caused Italy’s flag carrier, ITA Airways, to cancel several domestic flights. 

On that occasion, ITA said affected passengers were rebooked on the first available flights.

As with all previous strikes, passengers travelling with Ryanair or Vueling on Saturday, October 1st are advised to contact their airline for updates prior to setting off.

In the event of delays and/or cancellations, the rights of all passengers are protected by EU regulation EC 261. This applies to any air passenger flying within the EU/Schengen zone, arriving in the EU/Schengen zone from a non-EU country by means of a EU-based airline (all airlines involved in the strike are EU-based) or departing from the EU/Schengen zone. 

READ ALSO: Passports: What are the post-Brexit rules for dual-nationals travelling in Europe?

According to this regulation, airlines are financially accountable for any journey disruption they are responsible for. That includes disruptions caused by airline staff strikes. Therefore, should your flight be significantly delayed or cancelled, you might be entitled to receive compensation from your airline. 

For further information on what you might be entitled to and in which cases, check our guide here.