strike actions leads to cancelled flights

Italian strikes lead to flight cancellations

News Travel & Tourism

Travellers face more chaos as thousands of Italian airline workers prepared to strike today. Faced with a cabin crew walk-out, multiple budget airlines cancelled Wednesday flights to and from Italy.

EasyJet binned 20 Gatwick flights scheduled for today, including departures to Bologna, Milan, Naples, Rome and Venice. Ryanair also cancelled flights, including 14 between London and Milan, and several flights between Italy and Stansted Airport.

In statements, both airlines promised to do “all they can” to minimise disruption, but insisted that strike action is “outside of (their) control.”

Unionised air traffic controllers at multiple Italian airports will also strike for 24 hours today, leading Italian carrier ITA Airways to cancel 81 flights.

The industrial action comes after weeks of chaos at European airports, with travellers trapped in snaking queues for up to seven hours.

Strikes by crew and controllers

Pilots and flight attendants of Volotea, EasyJet and Ryanair (including sister airlines Malta Air and Crewlink) stood down between 10am to 2pm (CEST) today.

Meanwhile, air traffic controllers at multiple Italian airports will strike for an entire 24 hours, returning to work on June 9.

Impacted airlines have advised travellers to check their flight status before arriving at the airport.

The striking staff are members of Filt (Italian Federation of Transport Workers) and Uiltrasporti (Italian Union of Transport Workers, or UILT).

In a joint statement, the unions blamed poor work and pay conditions for the industrial action.

“Among the issues are… arbitrary reductions of paychecks, the non-payment of sick days, the company’s refusal to grant leave during the summer season, and the lack of water and meals for the crew,” the statement read.

UILT said that if an agreement is not reached, “this will be only the first of a series of protest actions that will make the summer ‘hot’”.

Aviation industry suffering due to staff layoff during pandemic

Winding queues, packed departure halls, and travellers missing flights have become a common sight across the continent.

The entire industry is facing severe staff shortages, after more than 191,000 European aviation workers were made redundant during the pandemic. As demand surges, airports and airlines are finding themselves ill-equipped to handle the influx.

British Airways had to scrap 8,000 flights in its March-October schedule, while EasyJet recently cancelled 240 flights between 27 May and 10 June.

Airports are also feeling the heat. Security delays at Dublin Airport, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, and Manchester Airport have caused mammoth disruption for thousands of travellers.

The aviation industry has launched a recruitment drive, but Air Council International – Europe’s trade body for airports – has predicted that delays are inevitable at two-thirds of European airports this summer.

The global aviation industry came together to discuss and resolve post-pandemic issues and shape the future of air travel at the inaugural Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh.

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