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STRIKES

How the airline strike will disrupt flights to and from Italy on Saturday

Pilots and cabin crew from four low-cost airlines will strike on Saturday, October 1st, in a move set to cause significant disruption to Italian air travel.

Disruption caused by a Ryanair strike.
Pilots and cabin crew from low-cost carrier Ryanair will take part in a 24-hour strike on Saturday, October 1st. Photo by Lluis GENE / AFP

Passengers travelling to and from Italy were set to face major delays and cancellations on Saturday, October 1st after Italian unions FILT-CGIL and Uiltrasporti confirmed a national airline strike on Wednesday.

Staff from Volotea, Easyjet and Ryanair will hold a 24-hour walkout, whereas Vueling staff will strike for a total of four hours, from 1pm to 5pm, unions said.

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

At the time of writing, no details were immediately available as to exactly which flights would be affected, though scheduled flights with these carriers were said to be at risk of being delayed or even cancelled. 

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) confirmed on Wednesday that a number of flights would be guaranteed on the day of the strike. 

Flights scheduled to depart between 7am and 10am and between 6pm and 9pm were expected to run regularly, as were flights to and from Italy’s major islands (Sicily and Sardinia). 

Passengers board for the first public flight operated by Easyjet at Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt.

Flights departing between 7am and 10am and between 6pm and 9pm should run regularly, according to the Italian Aviation Authority. Photo by Tobias Schwarz / AFP

All intercontinental flights were also expected to run on Saturday, though ENAC strongly advised passengers to check the status of their journey with their carrier prior to setting off. 

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?

As previously reported, the strike was called in protest against 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”. 

The last significant strike was held on Monday, September 12th, when a 24-hour national strike action 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.

In the event of delays 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.

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STRIKES

What to expect from Friday’s strikes in Italy

Travellers have been warned to expect more disruption from strikes on Friday, November 11th. From trains to planes and local public transport, here's how services will be affected.

What to expect from Friday’s strikes in Italy

Travellers are once again expected to face strike disruption affecting travel to, from and across Italy on Friday.

The new round of demonstrations, which threaten to replicate last month’s ‘venerdì nero’ (black Friday), include a 24-hour strike from Vueling staff.

READ ALSO: The strikes set to cause travel disruption in Italy in November

Public tranport strikes will also affect commuters in several Italian cities, though the hours and services affected will vary across the country.

Here’s the latest info on how the planned strikes will impact travel.

Flights

As previously reported by The Local, ground and cabin staff from Spanish airline company Vueling will take part in a 24-hour strike.

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

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

Vueling plane

Staff from Spanish airline Vueling will take part in a 24-hour strike over job security and holiday pay agreements. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

According to the latest media reports, the Spanish carrier will guarantee a number of “minimum services” throughout the day but neither Vueling nor ENAC, Italy’s air traffic authority, have provided further details.

That said, in the event of strikes, flights from 7am to 10am and from 6pm to 9pm are usually guaranteed to operate in Italy.

Friday’s strike will be the third demonstration in little over a month for Italy-based Vueling personnel, after the two previous strikes on October 1st and October 21st.

Italian unions representing Vueling staff have said that strike actions will continue until their demands – over greater job security and new agreements over holiday pay – are met.

READ ALSO: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

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

Local operators in several Italian regions will strike at varying times on Friday.

Train services run by Trenord around Milan, Brescia, Como and surrounding areas will be affected on Friday morning from 9.01am until 1pm, including Milan airport links. See full details here.

In Piedmont Ferrovienord services will be interrupted between 9am and 1pm.

In the southern region of Puglia, Ferrovie Sud Est will join the strike from 5pm-9pm.

Public transport

Aside from the Vueling staff strike, local public transport staff from all over the country are expected to take part in a four-hour national strike called by Italian union USB (Unione Sindacale di Base) earlier this week. 

The strike’s start and end times will vary from region to region or, in some cases, from city to city. 

In Milan, staff from public transport operator ATM will strike from 8.45am to 12.45pm, with significant disruption expected for both underground (metro lines) and overground (buses and trams) services.

Bus station in Rome

Public transport staff from all over the country will take part in a four-hour national strike, with the start and end time varying according to the location. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Outside of these hours, services will run regularly, ATM said in a statement.

In Rome, staff from ATAC, the main public transport provider in the capital, will strike from 8.30am to 12.30pm. Further info about the strike can be found here.

In other cities, local public transport staff will strike at the following times, according to Italian media reports on Thursday:

Trieste –  6.30pm to 10.30pm

Bologna and Ferra –  11.30am to 3.30pm

Naples – 9am to 1pm

Bari and Brindisi – 8:30am to 12:30pm

Lecce – 3pm to 7pm

Trento – 11:00 to 15:00

Bolzano – 3pm to 7pm (buses only)

Varese – 3:30 to 7:30pm (Varesine buses)

Pavia – 24 hours

Livorno – 5.30pm to 9.30pm

La Spezia – 11am to 3pm

Rimini, Cesena and Forlì –5.30pm to 9pm.

Strike action in other Italian cities had not been confirmed at the time of writing.

Anyone planning to travel on public transport on Friday is advised to check the status of services in their city before setting off.

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