Low-cost airline Ryanair said it had cancelled over 600 flights to and from Italy on Friday due to a 24-hour strike by air traffic controllers at Italian airports.
The airline stated: “All 110,000 affected Ryanair passengers have been notified of their options.”
“Ryanair sincerely apologizes to all passengers whose travel plans have been unfairly impacted by this strike by the Italian flight controllers.”
Italian national carrier ITA said on Tuesday it had cancelled hundreds of domestic and international flights scheduled for Friday.
ITA also published a list of cancellations showing that international flights to and from Rome and Milan airports would be affected as well as dozens of routes within Italy.
The cancellations are the result of a nationwide 24-hour strike planned this Friday by staff from national air traffic control company ENAV (Ente Nazionale per l’Assistenza al Volo).
Pilots from airline easyJet in Italy will also join planned strike action for four hours on Friday, between 11am and 3pm, according to reports in Italian media on Thursday. Some Vueling staff are also expected to participate.
At the time of writing, Vueling and easyJet had not yet confirmed which flights would be affected at the time of writing, but passengers planning to travel on Friday were advised to contact the airline and check the status of their flight.
EasyJet said in a statement to Travel Weekly on Wednesday that the strike action may affect its services throughout Friday.
“Like most airlines operating to and from Italy, we may see some disruption to our flying programme on this date.”
“We advise customers travelling to, from or within Italy on Friday 21st October to allow additional time to travel to and from the airport and to check the status of their flights.
“Should any flights be cancelled then we will contact customers via email and SMS using the details provided at the time of booking and check in.
Italy’s air traffic authority ENAC guarantees flights will operate as scheduled at certain times of day, even during 24-hour strikes.
ENAC said scheduled flights will go ahead between the hours of 7am-10am and 6pm-9pm.
People with cancelled flights and customers whose flight ends up being delayed by more than five hours will be able to request a refund until October 28th.
The strike was called by Italian unions Filt-Cgil, Filt-Cisl and Uiltrasporti in an ongoing dispute over working arrangements and contracts and is expected to hit airports across Italy.