Delays as Italian airport staff walk out on strike

Delays as Italian airport staff walk out on strike

European airline passenger face further misery today due to a strike by Italian airport ground handlers and air traffic controllers.

The walkout by air traffic controllers is set to take place between 1pm and 5pm local time while the action by ground handlers may last for 24 hours.

Alitalia has been forced to cancel almost 40% of its flights as a result and urged passengers to check the status of their service before going to the airport.

Bigger aircraft will operate on several domestic and international routes in order to carry as more passengers as possible.

Flights due to operate during the morning and evening peak periods or 7am-10am and 6pm-9pm are due to operate as scheduled.

“Additional staff will be on hand in the airports of Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate to assist customers, and additional call centre staff will be on duty,” the Italian flag carrier said.

British Airways confirmed that a number of flights would be cancelled and others re-timed.

“We will be using larger aircraft, where possible, to help affected customers and are doing all we can to reduce any disruption,” the airline said.

Travellers with tickets for flights to or from Rome or Milan today are being offered the option of switching to an alternative date between until Wednesday.

“Although the industrial action is beyond our control and will affect many airlines, we are sorry for any potential delays to your travel plans,” BA added.

EasyJet warned: “The strike may affect flights flying to and from Italy.

“Just like other airlines we are subject to Italian air traffic regulations and expect delays and cancellations on the day if the strike is confirmed.”

The latest set of industrial action follows a five-day strike by French air traffic controllers earlier in the month and a walkout by ground staff at Berlin’s two airports last week.

More than 40 Ryanair flights have been grounded and the airline warned that further delays and cancellations were likely due to the “unjustified ATC disruption”.

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