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UPDATE: What to expect from Italy's airport strike on Sunday

The Local Italy
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UPDATE: What to expect from Italy's airport strike on Sunday
More disruption is expected from planned Italian airport staff strikes this summer. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP.

Airline passengers travelling to or from Italy are set to face further disruption on Sunday, June 4th due to a 24-hour airport staff walkout which has already caused ITA Airways, the country's flag air carrier, to cancel 116 flights.

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Italy's flag airline carrier, ITA Airways, has cancelled as many as 116 weekend flights due to Sunday's nationwide airport staff strike, a statement from the company said on Saturday.

According to the statement, the company was working to "rebook the greatest possible number of passengers affected by the cancellations" onto the first available flights, estimating that "60 percent [of passengers] will be able to travel on the same day".

ITA was also advising all passengers planning to travel with them during the weekend to check the status of their journey either online or by contacting their customer support services directly. A list of all cancelled flights can be found here

READ ALSO: Which airports in Italy will be affected by strikes on Sunday?

At the time of writing, it appeared unlikely that ITA customers would be the only ones experiencing major disruption during the weekend.

Staff from several airlines were set to hold protests on Sunday, with significant flight delays or further cancellations on the horizon.

Staff at Spanish airlines Volotea and Vueling, and Air Dolomiti – a subsidiary of Lufthansa operating routes from Germany to 13 different Italian destinations – were expected to take part in a 24-hour nationwide strike.

Meanwhile, ground staff from American Airlines and Emirates were expected to strike for four hours, between 12pm and 4pm.

Strike at Rome Fiumicino airport

Italy's flag air carrier ITA Airways has cancelled 116 flights ahead of Sunday's national airport staff strike. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Flights run by any of these airlines seemed likely to experience delays or cancellations on the day, though no further details were available at the time of writing.

It bears noting that, under Italian law, flights scheduled to leave between 7am and 10am and between 6pm and 9pm are protected from strike action.

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Earlier this week, Italy's civil aviation authority ENAC published details of the flights guaranteed to go ahead on Sunday on its web page.

Besides disruption to scheduled flights, operations at both check-in desks and baggage collection points at airports all around the country were expected to experience significant delays on Sunday due to a national four-hour handling staff strike between 12pm and 4pm.

Furthermore, air traffic control operators employed by ENAV's Rome and Milan centres were set to strike from 1pm to 5pm, whereas Atitech staff at Rome's Fiumicino Airport and handling staff at Bergamo's Orio Al Serio airport were set to strike for the full 24 hours, according to the Corriere della Citta news daily.

READ ALSO: OPINION: Italy's constant strikes are part of the country's DNA

Sunday's walkouts were called in protest over employment contracts for handling staff at Italian airports, as unions said pay and conditions had not been improved for six years.

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Sunday's nationwide strike action was initially scheduled for May 19th, but was postponed after disastrous flooding hit parts of the country.

You can keep up to date with the latest strike news from Italy HERE.

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