27 MARCH 2017
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Air services were thrown into disarray again last Monday due to industrial action, this time a 4hr walk-out by Italian air traffic controllers. Alitalia alone said it had to cancel nearly 40% of its schedules.
The walkout, involving several unions, took place from 13:00 – 17:00 and hit airports including Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate. Flights timed between 07:00 – 10:00 and from 18:00 – 21:00 were able to go ahead as scheduled.
Along with Alitalia, carriers including British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair were also forced to cancel or delay some flights. BA said it would be using larger aircraft where possible to help affected customers and was “doing all we can” to reduce disruption.
EasyJet said: “Just like other airlines, we are subject to Italian air traffic regulations and expect delays and cancellations on the day”.
The action was in protest at the Italian government’s attempts to restructure the transport sector. Airlines for Europe (A4E) estimated it caused more than 500 cancellations, flight delays and “extensive rescheduling”.
Managing director Thomas Reynaert reiterated his call for passengers to sign A4E’s petition (BTN last week) calling for action from the EU to bring the wave of industrial action to an end.
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