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Strikes For Members

How are strikes affecting travel in Italy on Wednesday?

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
How are strikes affecting travel in Italy on Wednesday?
A small number of domestic flights have been cancelled ahead of strikes in Italy on Wednesday. Photo: LIVINUS / Getty Images

Italy's local public transport staff and air traffic controllers have announced strikes on Wednesday, January 24th, but how much disruption should passengers expect?

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January is normally a pretty quiet month for transport strikes in Italy, but this week a couple have been scheduled - including two on the same day.

On Tuesday, taxi drivers staged a strike in Rome over fixed fares and shifts. On Wednesday, unions have declared both a local public transport strike and an air traffic controllers’ strike.

READ ALSO: The transport strikes that will hit travel in Italy in January 2024

Though such strikes are frequent in Italy, they don't always result in much disruption. So what exactly can passengers expect this time?

Flights

Italian air traffic control (ENAV) staff are set to take part in a strike on Wednesday affecting airports around the country for four hours, from 1pm to 5pm.

The worst-affected airports are expected to be Brindisi, Bologna and Verona, where additional ENAV staff strikes have been called at the same time.

However, very few flight cancellations or changes have been announced by airlines.

Italy's national carrier ITA airways announced it "was forced to cancel 8 domestic flights scheduled for the day of January 24, 2024, managing to guarantee all international and intercontinental flights".

It added that "other flight changes may occur".

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Ryanair released a statement on Tuesday saying it would need to reschedule some flights on January 24th, but did not announce any cancellations. Affected passengers would be contacted by email, the airline said.

Passengers planning to fly to or from affected airports on Wednesday are advised to check the status of the flight with their airline before setting off.

You can find out more about your rights if a flight is cancelled here.

Public transport 

Commuters may face delays or cancellations on Wednesday as public transport staff in many cities plan to take part in a 24-hour walkout. 

The strike, which is backed by three of Italy’s largest transport unions, is expected to affect bus, metro and tram services but shouldn’t affect interregional and long-distance trains. Taxi services should also operate as usual.

The exact timing and level of disruption caused by the walkout will vary from city to city, with services in Rome and Milan expected to be among the most affected. 

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While not all local operators have published details of affected routes, they have confirmed that certain services will be guaranteed to run under laws requiring a minimum level of essential services.

Milan’s main public transport operator ATM said it will run minimum services from midnight to 8.45am and then from 3pm to 6pm. The Como-Brunate funicular is guaranteed to run until 8.30am and from 4.30pm to 7.30pm.

Regional rail operator Trenord also said the strike may affect airport services (the Malpensa Express and S50 Malpensa Airport - Bellinzona trains) as well as the lines "Milano Cadorna - Canzo/Asso, Como Lago/Novara Nord/Laveno/Varese; S3 Milano Cadorna - Saronno; S4 Milano Cadorna - Camnago L.; Brescia/Iseo - Edolo."

Rome’s transport operator ATAC said services will run as normal until 8.30am and then from 5pm to 8pm, though night bus lines may be affected.

The functioning of escalators, elevators and stairlifts will not be guaranteed during the day, nor will access to ticket offices, the provider said.

Autolinee Toscane, which operates bus services in the Florence metropolitan area, said it would run minimum services from 4.15am to 8.14am and then from 12.30pm to 2.29pm.

In Naples, transport operator ANM guarantees bus, tram and trolley services from 5.30am until 8.30am and from 5pm until 8pm. The funicular is guaranteed until 9.20am, and is set to resume from 5pm until 7.50pm.

While the protected time periods vary by city, they generally coincide with rush hour in the morning and afternoon.

Operators advised passengers planning to use public transport on Wednesday to check the status of their service before setting off.

Follow the latest updates in The Local's Italian strike news section.

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