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TRAVEL NEWS

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

Pilots and flight attendants from Ryanair, Malta Air, CrewLink, easyJet and Volotea will strike again on Saturday over pay and conditions, unions said.

Ryanair plane at Belarus airport
Ryanair staff will participate in a 24-hour strike on Saturday, June 25th. Photo by Petras MALUKAS / AFP

Flights are expected to be hit by delays and/or cancellations on Saturday, June 25th, with pilots and cabin crew from Ryanair, Malta Air, CrewLink, easyJet and Volotea set to hold a nationwide 24-hour walkout over wages and working conditions.

Unions representing airline staff said the strike was called because of “the impossibility of starting a discussion about problems that have afflicted crew for months”.

READ ALSO: How will Italian flights be affected by Saturday’s strike action?

“After the strike of June 8th, workers will take new action to demand contracts in line with the minimum wage provision … as required by Italian law,” stated Italian unions Filt (Italian Federation of Transport Workers) and Uiltrasporti (the Italian transport workers’ union).

They added they were also demanding “food and water for the crews … who are often unable to get off the plane for 14 consecutive hours, and the cancellation of the wage cuts introduced to face a period of crisis that is no longer current.”

“If not listened to, we won’t hesitate to call further protest actions from the month of July,” the unions warned.

The upcoming strike will be part of a wider network of demonstrations, with low-cost airline pilots and cabin crew from Spain, Portugal, France and Belgium set to stage a walkout on the same day.

Italy’s unions said the longer strikes being held in other countries mean “probable inconveniences on connecting routes operated by the Ryanair group, especially [flights going] to the countries holding strikes”.

READ ALSO: Strikes and queues: How airline passengers in Europe face summer travel chaos

As it was the case on June 8th, it is likely that a number of scheduled flights will be significantly delayed or cancelled on the day of the strike, but it remains unclear how badly each airline will be affected.

Ryanair said it expects the disruption to its Italian flight schedule on Saturday to be minimal.

The airline’s Italian country manager Mauro Bolla told news agency Ansa the unions behind the strikes “do not have representation in Ryanair”.

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, unions said, however no major disruption is anticipated as a result of the direct action.

Passengers travelling with any of the above-mentioned carriers on Saturday, June 25th are advised to contact their airline for updates before leaving for the airport.

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.  

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. 

Please note The Local cannot advise on specific cases. For further information on what you might be entitled to and in which cases, check our guide here.

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STRIKES

How Italy’s transport strikes will impact travel on Friday

Transport workers in Italy have announced another strike on Friday, December 2nd: here's how travellers will be affected.

How Italy's transport strikes will impact travel on Friday

Travellers in Italy face further disruption this week with the latest in a string of national transport strikes called for the coming Friday.

Flights, trains, taxis and local public transport will be affected, as well as some schools and health facilities and the logistics sector.

The strike is part of a coordinated action between multiple national and local trade unions, reports Skytg24.

Worker demands include the introduction of a national minimum wage and a pay rise in line with inflation, as well as a freeze on military spending and increased investment in schools and the public health and transport sectors.

Here’s a closer look at how the strikes will affect travel on Friday.

Flights

Staff from the Spanish carrier Vueling will strike for 24 hours on December 2nd, in protest against the latest round of redundancies announced by the company, likely impacting flights to and from Italy.

Vueling hasn’t confirmed how flights will be affected, but delays or cancellations can’t be ruled out.

At the time of writing, no other airlines appear to be involved in the strike.

Vueling staff will strike against planned redundancies on Friday.

Vueling staff will strike against planned redundancies on Friday. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP.

Ground staff at airports across Italy will participate in the action, meaning significant disruption could be caused to those flying with other carriers.

Italy’s national civil aviation agency Enac has published a list of the flight numbers and routes that will be protected from cancellation.

Flights from 7am to 10am and from 6pm to 9pm are usually guaranteed to operate in Italy, as are any flights due to depart or arrive before the scheduled strike times but delayed for reasons beyond anyone’s control.

All incoming intercontinental flights, including those for which Italy is the transit country, are also guaranteed.

As in previous strikes, those meant to be travelling with Vueling on Friday are advised to check their flight status with the carrier before setting off.

In the event of severe delays or cancellations you might be entitled to compensation. See our guide for further details.

Trains

Staff of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS), Italy’s national state-owned rail company, will strike for 24 hours from 9pm on December 1st until 9pm on December 2nd, the company has announced.

FS subsidiary Trenitalia has published lists of all the services that are guaranteed to continue in the event of a strike; here is their list of national train routes that should be unaffected by the strike on Thursday and Friday.

National and regional train services will be affected by Italy's strikes on Friday.

National and regional train services will be affected by Italy’s strikes on Friday. Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP)

For regional services, you can search the Trenitalia site by region to find out which train services are guaranteed.

An additional document provides links to services guaranteed by smaller, local rail companies in some parts of the country.

FS notes that delays and disruption to travel could occur before and after the strike’s planned start and finish time.

In some regions, such as Lombardy, services between 6-9am and 6-9pm, as well as certain other routes considered essential, are guaranteed.

Public transport

Local strikes will take place in a number of Italian cities and regions on Friday, with the timing varying from place to place.

In Milan, staff from city public transport operator ATM will strike at various points throughout the day. Significant disruption to buses, trams and trolley services is expected from 8.45am to 3pm and after 6pm.

Metro services are guaranteed until 6pm, after which travel may be disrupted. The Como-Brunate funicular will likely have limited service from 8.30am to 4.30pm and from 7.30pm to the end of service.

It’s still unclear at this stage whether taxi drivers will participate.

In Rome, major disruptions on bus, tram, and trail services are expected from 8.30am to 5pm and from 8pm to the end of service. Again, it’s currently unclear whether taxis will participate.

Bus services in Rome and other Italian cities will be disrupted on Friday.

Bus services in Rome and other Italian cities will be disrupted on Friday. Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP.

In Naples, staff from public transport operator ANM will strike, causing disruption to Metro Line 1, the Montesanto, Chiaia, Centrale and Mergellina funiculars, and on buses and trams.

And in Bologna, bus and other ground transport services will be disrupted between 8.30am and 4.30pm and from 19.30pm until the end of the service.

Transport operators in other cities have yet to confirm strike action.

It is advisable for all passengers planning to travel in Italy on Friday to consult their transport operator before setting off.

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