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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the plane for 14 consecutive hours, and the cancellation of the wage cuts introduced to face a period of crisis that is no longer current.”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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VENICE

EXPLAINED: How will the tourist-control system work in Venice?

Venice is introducing a new system to discourage day-trippers in hopes of curbing problems with overtourism in the popular hotspot. Here is what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: How will the tourist-control system work in Venice?

After years of discussing a possible “tourist tax”, the city of Venice has confirmed it will make day-trippers pay from €3 to €10 for access to the city centre starting on January 16th.

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the goal of the new tourism fee is to discourage day tourism at certain times of the year and encourage overnight tourism. Day-trippers will have to pay a fee, but those who stay overnight continue only to have to pay the city tax of €2 to €5, according to a government press release.

The Commission and the City Council will now examine the regulatory text for the final green light scheduled for the summer.

“We are the first in the world to introduce this system, and we are aware that not everything will work well from the beginning, but we will be ready to improve in the course of work. We want to guarantee the tourist the best quality of the visit and make sure that the city is able to give visitors all the services they need”, said Tourism Secretary Simone Venturini.

READ ALSO: After flooding and coronavirus, is it time Venice stopped relying on tourism?

How much will I have to pay?

The contributo di acesso, or access contribution, will cost from €3 to €10, depending on factors such as tourism numbers for the day and season.

The city will determine a certain threshold of tourists, after which people will be required to pay higher sums. Travellers are encouraged to book in advance to avoid price increases.

Does the payment have to be made in advance?

The government said that nobody would be denied entry to Venice, meaning a pre-registration is not necessary. However, the mayor said that those who book their visit in advance would be “rewarded”. The reward will likely discount the fee.

How will the system work? Where do I pay?

According to the City of Venice, the payment is an alternative to the city tax. It will be required from every person that goes to the old city centre of Venice, as well as other major tourist destinations and islands in the region.

READ ALSO: 16 surprising facts about Venice to mark 16 centuries of the lagoon city

A single payment guarantees access to the old town and the smaller islands.

Tourists will be able to pay through an online and “multilingual” platform where they will receive a QR code to present in case of controls. Tickets should also be available to buy in connection with public transport – so if you are arriving by train, it will be possible to buy the train ticket and the entry pass together.

Who is excluded or exempt from the payment?

There are several exceptions to the payment, according to the website. Among them are residents from the Comune di Venezia, those who work or study there, and those who own homes in the city.

Additionally, exceptions include those born in the Comune di Venezia, children under six years of age, people with disabilities and their accompanying person, public workers, volunteers, people visiting family members, prisoners, or attending funerals, and many others.

Residents of the Veneto region “up to the thresholds that will be set by a specific Council resolution” are also exempt.

Those who stay overnight and, therefore, already pay the city tax through their hotel or short-term rental booking are also exempt from the fee.

The city of Murano, in the metropolitan region of Venice (Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash)

What about people arriving on cruises?

Venice is a very popular stop for cruise ships and people visiting the city on a cruise tour will also have to pay the fee as they disembark in the old town. However, the City of Venice said they might determine a lump-sum measure in agreement with the relevant carriers.

READ ALSO: OPINION: Why more of Italy’s top destinations must limit tourist numbers

Which smaller islands are included?

Only one ticket and payment is required for those travelling to multiple islands, including Venice. The islands that are part of the group are:

  • Lido di Venezia
  • Pellestrina
  • Murano
  • Burano
  • Torcello
  • Sant’Erasmo
  • Mazzorbo
  • Mazzorbetto
  • Vignole
  • S. Andrea
  • La certosa
  • S. Servolo
  • S. Clemente
  • Poveglia

What if I simply don’t pay?

If you fail to produce proof of payment or that you are exempt from the fee, the sanction is from €50 to €300. The fine is the same in the case of people making false statements trying to obtain exemptions or reductions.

Additionally, visitors who don’t pay in advance will have to pay the full €10 fee.

For more info click here.

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