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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How will Italy’s air traffic control strike impact flights this weekend?

Passengers flying to or from Italy can expect disruption on Sunday, April 2nd, as air traffic controllers from all around the country will strike from 1pm to 5pm. Here’s what you need to know.

How will Italy's air traffic control strike impact flights this weekend?

Travellers are once again set to face delays and/or cancellations on Sunday, April 2nd, due to a nationwide four-hour strike involving air traffic operators at Italy’s Enav (National Flight Assistance Authority). 

The walkout, which was called by Italian unions in early March, is scheduled to start at 1pm and end at 5pm.

There currently aren’t sufficient details as to exactly what level of disruption travellers will face on the day, though as many as 200,000 passengers might have their travel plans disrupted by the walkout, according to the latest Italian media reports.

Italy’s flagship airline, ITA Airways, has so far cancelled some 78 flights scheduled to depart on Sunday, with the full list being available here

READ ALSO: Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this spring

The company said through a statement released on Friday morning that they had activated a “special plan” to minimise disruption and 35 percent of involved passengers would still be able to fly on Sunday, albeit on different flights.

They also advised all passengers with flights scheduled for Sunday to reach out directly to their own info points, which can be found here

At the time of writing, no airline other than ITA Airways has announced cancellations, though the situation is likely to evolve in the coming hours. 

As per current industry agreements, a number of flights will be guaranteed to operate during the strike. 

Notably, intercontinental flights, including those with layovers at Italian airports, will run regularly, as will any essential flight between Italy’s mainland and the islands (Sicily and Sardinia).

Furthermore, all national flights which will already be underway at the start of the strike will regularly reach their destination.

A full list of guaranteed services can be found on Enac’s (National Civil Aviation Authority) website

Flights scheduled to depart before or after the strike are currently expected to operate normally, though significant delays or airport queues resulting from the walkout cannot be ruled out yet.

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