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STRIKES

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

As Italian trade unions have called a general strike on Friday, here's a look at how travel within the country will be affected.

What does Italy's general strike on Friday mean for travel?
Passengers walk past a Frecciarossa high-speed train run by Italian national train operator, Trenitalia, Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

Italian unions have called a nationwide general strike for the entire working day on Friday, April 22nd, which could mean some disruption for passengers on some flights, trains and ferry routes as people begin the long weekend ahead of Liberation Day, according to Italian news reports.

However, this time, a low number of participating trade union members in the transport sector is expected to mean there will be little or no disruption to the majority of transport services.

Local public transport services, such as city buses and trams, are not likely to be affected in any major city, according to operators.

Italy also guarantees the operation of a minimum number of public transport services in the event of a strike on weekdays from 6 to 9am and from 6 to 9pm, as well as flights between 7 and 10am, and 6 to 9pm.

Flights are reportedly operating normally at airports around Italy on Friday morning, however Milan’s Linate airport may see some disruption due to a four-hour strike by ground support staff in the afternoon, between noon and 4pm.

For interregional trains, national operator Trenitalia confirmed in a statement on its website that a 24-hour national strike had been called by staff, but said that it does not expect Intercity services or high-speed Frecce trains to be affected.

Passengers are in any case advised to check the latest updates before setting off, as Trenitalia warned: “Trade union unrest can lead to changes to the service even before the start and after the conclusion [of the strike action]”.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about train travel in Italy

Northern regional rail operator Trenord similarly stated: “Considering the membership data in similar previous strike announcements, no interruptions to railway traffic in Lombardy are expected.”

“On the other hand, there may be sporadic cancellations of trains which will be promptly communicated.”

“We therefore recommend, before setting off, to check traffic in real-time on the Trenord app. At the station, pay attention to the monitors an announcements.”

Those travelling by road or ferry on Friday are also advised by operators to check for updates before setting off.

Some localised traffic disruption and road closures can be expected in central Rome on Friday due to a demonstration by trade unions planned to start at 2pm in the central Piazza della Repubblica.

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STRIKES

How will Italian flights be affected by strikes on Saturday?

Staff of low-cost airlines in several European countries have called a 24-hour strike on Saturday, June 25th. Here's what that means for Italy.

How will Italian flights be affected by strikes on Saturday?

Travellers to Italy face more disruption to their plans this weekend as the staff of multiple budget airlines have confirmed they will participate in a 24-hour walkout on Saturday.

The move means holidaymakers’ plans could once again be thrown into chaos, following a previous nationwide airline strike held just weeks ago on June 8th.

READ ALSO: Budget airline passengers in Europe face travel headaches as more strikes called

Italy is just one of the many European destinations affected: trade unions representing Ryanair cabin crew in Belgium, France, Portugal and Spain have also called for strikes this coming weekend, while easyJet’s operations in Spain face a nine-day strike next month.

Employees of Ryanair, Malta Air and CrewLink are taking part in the Italian strike, which transport labour unions Filt and Uiltrasporti have confirmed is part of a coordinated Europe-wide mobilisation.

Staff of easyJet and budget airline Volotea are also joining Saturday’s strike in Italy.

The unions are demanding contracts that honour the minimum wage set in a national collective agreement under Italian law, as well as for adequate rest periods and for the airlines to provide crew members with food and water.

READ ALSO: Italian low-cost airline staff to strike on June 25th

Staff of multiple budget airlines, including Ryanair and easyJet, will participate in a 24 hour strike in Italy on Saturday.

Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP.

Ryanair expects the disruption to its Italian flight schedule on Saturday to be minimal, according to the airline’s Italian country manager, Mauro Bolla, who told news agency Ansa the unions behind the strikes “do not have representation in Ryanair”.

Meanwhile, regardless of airline, Italian law dictates that flights must go ahead at certain times of day even in the event of a strike – meaning some journeys are protected.

Italy’s civil cviation authority ENAC has released lists of the Ryanair, Malta Air, CrewLink, easyJet and Volotea flights that it says will run as planned on June 25th.

According to the authority, any flight scheduled to leave an Italian airport between 7am and 10am or 6pm and 9pm is automatically protected from cancellation due to strike action. The rule applies even if those flights are delayed past those time slots.

The protection also applies to any flights scheduled to depart before the start of the strike, even if they are ultimately delayed; as well as international flights scheduled to land in Italy within half an hour of the strike’s start time.

All intercontinental routes to and from Italy are additionally safeguarded from cancellation, including those that are merely transiting through Italy. For June 25th, that means Ryanair flight RYR 2005 from Bergamo to Tel Aviv will go ahead as planned, according to the authority.

Certain domestic routes connecting mainland Italy with the islands of Sicily and Sardinia are also protected. These include:

easyJet
EJU 4801 Naples-Catania
EJU 4819 Naples-Olbia
EJU 4820 Olbia-Naples
EJU 3394 Olbia-Venice
EJU 3368 Bergamo-Olbia

Ryanair
RYR 04802 Rome Ciampino-Cagliari
RYR 02261 Bergamo-Catania

Volotea
VOE 1551 Ancona-Cagliari
VOE1550 Cagliari-Ancona
VOE1702 Catania-Ancona
VOE1578 Palermo-Naples
VOE1541 Olbia-Palermo

All other flights arriving in or leaving from Italy on this date are at risk of cancellation (though this doesn’t necessarily mean they will automatically be cancelled; contact your airline for information and updates).

In addition to the walkouts, demonstrations also planned at three Italian airports.

Milan Malpensa, Rome Ciampino and Bergamo Orio al Serio will all have pickets stationed outside their doors from 10am onwards on Saturday, according to newspaper Repubblica; however no major disruption is anticipated as a result of the direct action.

For more information passengers are advised to contact their airline. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, see our guide to your right to compensation here.

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