TRAVEL: Delays expected as Italian airport workers strike on Friday

Passengers travelling to and from Italian airports were warned to expect delays on Friday, January 27th, due to strikes by baggage handlers and other staff, with Milan's Linate set to be worst affected.

TRAVEL: Delays expected as Italian airport workers strike on Friday
Passengers with checked baggae are likely to be affected by strike action at Italian airports on Friday. (Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP)

Strike action on by staff from airport ground service companies may result in delays and queues at some Italian airports, with ticket desks, check-in and baggage handling likely to be affected.

At the national level, ground support staff will take part in a strike held by several of Italy’s biggest trade unions during the day, while an additional strike by baggage handlers at Milan’s Linate airport is expected to cause further disruption.

“It won’t be so much a problem of cancelled flights, even if sometimes the airlines seize the opportunity to cancel one that would leave half empty, but of delays,” Renzo Canavesi, CUB union leader for the Lombardy region, told La Stampa.

READ ALSO: Should you travel in Italy when there’s a strike on?

At Linate, ground service company Swissport Italia and handling companies Airport Handling and Air Cargo plan to strike on Friday.

Staff from Swissport Italia will hold a 24-hour strike at Linate, while the other two ground operators will strike for four hours (from 10.30am to 2.30pm for Airport Handling; from 9pm to 1am of the next day for Airport Cargo).

Passengers are advised to arrive early for flights and to check the status of their service before leaving for the airport.

Passengers may be entitled to compensation in the event of severe delays or flight cancellations. See our guide for further details.

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

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Reader question: Will there be any strikes in Italy over Easter?

Transport strikes are a frequent occurrence in Italy, but will there be any walkouts over the Easter holidays? Here’s what we know.

Reader question: Will there be any strikes in Italy over Easter?

Question: “I’m travelling to Italy over the Easter break and I wondered if there will be any strikes?”

Transport strikes are hardly unusual in Italy, with at least two or three national demonstrations taking place each month and a number of regional or local walkouts being held each week. 

Strike action has been particularly frequent over the past couple of months as rail, airline and public transport services were all disrupted by union-backed demonstrations on multiple occasions, causing delays or, at times, even cancellations for travellers.

But will the trend continue over Easter, affecting the travel plans of residents as well as international visitors?

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

There currently are no transport strikes planned between Thursday, April 6th and Thursday, April 13th, so, as things stand, travellers shouldn’t expect to face any strike-related disruption during the holidays. 

Bus station in Rome

There currently are no planned strikes in Italy between Thursday, April 6th and Thursday, April 13th. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

However, it bears pointing out that, under Italian law, all transport strikes scheduled to take place on the 11th day from the date when they were first communicated to the Transport Ministry, can be legally held.

So, for the sake of argument, unions could still plan a strike for Easter Sunday – which falls on April 9th this year – provided that they notified the Transport Ministry by the end of Thursday, March 30th.

That said, scenarios like the one above are highly unlikely given that nearly all transport strikes in Italy are announced at least a month before their scheduled date.

On a different note, while the Easter holidays shouldn’t be affected by any transport staff walkouts, services might run on a reduced schedule on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday as both days are national holidays in Italy. 

As a result, those planning on travelling on those dates are advised to check the orari festivi (holiday schedules) of the relevant transport providers.

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