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

Pilots and flight attendants from Ryanair and Vueling will strike on Saturday, October 1st over wages and working conditions, unions said.

Ryanair check-in counters at Barcelona's El Prat airport.
Pilots and cabin crew from low-cost carrier Ryanair will take part in a 24-hour strike on Saturday, October 1st. Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

Pilots and cabin crew from Ryanair and Vueling will take part in a national strike action on Saturday, October 1st, Italian unions confirmed in a statement released on Monday. 

The statement said Ryanair staff will hold a 24-hour walkout, whereas Vueling staff will strike for a total of four hours, from 1pm to 5pm.

At the time of writing it wasn’t yet clear how the strike would affect passengers, though significant delays or cancellations can’t be ruled out. 

Italian trade unions Filt-Cgil and Uiltrasporti called the strike in protest against the 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”. 

A Vueling Airbus A320 plane.

Staff from Spanish airline Vueling will strike over working conditions and the recent lay-off of 17 flight attendants. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

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?

The last significant strike was held on Monday of last week, when a 24-hour national strike 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.

As with all previous strikes, passengers travelling with Ryanair or Vueling on Saturday, October 1st are advised to contact their airline for updates prior to setting off.

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 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. 

For further information on what you might be entitled to and in which cases, check our guide here.

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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 in a move set to cause significant disruption to Italian airline travel.

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

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.

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”. 

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

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”. 

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

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

That said, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile, or ENAC) said on Wednesday that a number of flights would be guaranteed on the day of the strike. 

Notably, 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). 

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?

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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