As of 00:00 today, air traffic controllers in Italy are on a 24-hour strike, until midnight tonight. The strike is expected to cause severe disruptions today, despite best efforts to mitigate the impact.
The strike was called on by multiple unions in the transport sector, so public transport will also be affected. The unions cite salary and contract disagreements as reasons for the strike. Among others, flag carrier ITA Airways is cancelling over 200 flights, domestic and international, while Ryan Air is cancelling 600.
“Following the national strike of the air traffic controllers and the air transport sector on Friday, the Company was forced to cancel some domestic flights. ITA Airways has activated an extraordinary plan to limit the inconvenience of passengers, rebooking the largest possible number of travellers involved in cancellations on the first available flights: 20% will be able to fly on the same day of October 21st“, the airline said in a statement.
The flag carrier also plans on reimbursing passengers who cannot be rebooked on the same day for food, transport and accommodation, although it is not required to do so since the reasons for the delays and cancellations are external. Refunds will also be available on the airline’s website for the flights that are delayed longer than 5 hours.
EasyJet is also cancelling a few hundred flights and announced its passengers to check their flight status and get to the airport a few hours in advance to ensure they catch their flight. “Like most airlines operating to and from Italy, we may see some disruptions to our flying program on October 21st. We advise customers traveling to, from, or within Italy on this date to allow additional time to travel to and from the airport and check their flight status”, the airline warned.
Italy’s National Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) has stated flights will be guaranteed between 6-9 pm.