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Airline strikes to disrupt flights to and from Italy on Sunday

Air traffic controllers and airline workers from three low-cost airlines will strike across Italy at the weekend, a move set to cause further disruption for passengers.

Airline strikes in Italy, Sunday, July 17th
Flight delays and/or cancellations are likely to affect Italian air traffic on Sunday after workers from several low-cost companies have announced a four-hour strike. Photo by Jeroen JUMELET / ANP / AFP

The four-hour national strike scheduled for Sunday July 17th between 2pm and 6pm will involve air traffic controllers from Italy’s ENAV group, and pilots and flight attendants from EasyJet, Volotea and Ryanair and Crewlink, unions confirmed.

The strike, the latest in a series of protests in Italy in recent weeks over pay and conditions, comes at the height of the busy summer holiday season.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: Airlines cancel 15,000 flights in August

While unions representing Ryanair staff had previously announced strike action planned for Sunday, those representing staff at EasyJet and Volotea confirmed on Wednesday they would join the protest following an unsuccessful meeting with officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure.

No details were immediately available as to how much disruption the strike would cause or which flights would be affected.

The Uiltrasporti union said pilots and flight attendants from the low-cost airlines were working under “continuing unacceptable conditions”, accusing EasyJet of unjustified dismissals and Volotea of lowering minimum wages.

The unions said air traffic controllers were suffering from Enav’s “manifest inability to communicate and manage personnel”, and threatened further protests if demands were not met.

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

They said they had asked Italy’s Ministry of Infrastructure to open an “air transport crisis table” involving low-cost airlines to deal with wage and working condition issues.

EasyJet said in a statement it had been informed of the planned strike from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Sunday and said it was “doing everything possible to minimise any impact and limit disruption.”

Sunday’s strike is just the last one of a series of demonstrations that have affected the air travel industry over the past month – previous strikes were held on June 8th and June 25th.

It comes amid continuing chaos at airports around Europe, with many passengers suffering cancellations and significant delays.

The Italian government this week warned passengers to “travel light” to avoid long queues at check-in counters or when recovering their belongings.

On Tuesday, Italian consumer groups Codacons and Assoutenti accused airlines of being “irresponsible”, saying that they were ready to file lawsuits should passengers’ rights continue to be undermined.

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 Sunday’s strike are EU-based) or departing from the EU/Schengen zone.  

This law holds airlines financially accountable for any flight disruptions they happen to be responsible for. That includes disruptions caused by airline staff strikes, including pilots, cabin crew, engineers and any other employees working directly for the company of interest.

Should your flight be significantly delayed or cancelled, you might be entitled to receive compensation from your airline. 

You can find valuable information regarding flight delay or cancellation compensation on the website of claims management company AirHelp

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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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