[Travel News] Italy Cancels 500 Flights Due To Strike

On July 17, airlines had to cancel up to 500 flights because of a strike that lasted around 4 hours, in which ultra-low-cost airline employees and air traffic controllers were involved.

Fabrizio Cuscito, a union official, while commenting on the situation stated that the strike was led by low-cost airlines and air traffic controllers as they were demanding higher salary and better working conditions.

According to Italy’s Ministry of Transport, workers from three airlines (Ryan, easyJet, and Volotea) led the strike, which reportedly started at 2 pm, while air traffic controllers were said to have walked out an hour earlier.

In the current strike situation, the Italian Ministry of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, The Ministry of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility of Italy has just recommended travellers not to pack too much baggage in order to avoid long lines at airports. Instead, everyone is advised on bringing hand baggage to minimise check-in time.

Besides offering that advice, the Ministry also stressed that they would do the best of their ability to ensure that air traffic would soon resume normalcy.

Although the Ministry claimed that Italy is faring better than fellow European countries, Italy was in fact among the top ten countries that had the most cancelled flights scheduled to board in the first two weeks of July.

Mabrian, the travel intelligence website, reported that a total of 637 flights that are scheduled to fly between July 1 and 15 have been cancelled in Italy. Additionally, they also revealed that the number of outbound flights that were cancelled in that two-week period accounted for 2,3% of the total flights.

For many reasons, many airlines in Europe have had to cancel their flights in recent times. In fact, 60% of all the flights cancelled worldwide in August are based in Europe. Cirium reported that upwards of 15,700 flights scheduled to take off in August have been cancelled.

The rising number of flight cancellations is the direct result of staff shortages, overburdened airports, strikes, as well as various other problems that the aviation industry is trying to deal with recently.

With the current situation of air travel in mind, the EU Commission has recently reminded travellers of their rights regarding air travel, including:

  • The right to choose between refund, re-routing, or return if their flight is cancelled.
  • Passengers who are informed of the cancellations less than two weeks prior to the scheduled fly day are entitled to compensation.

The situations where the rights apply include:

  • Flights within Europe
  • Flights operated by an EU airline arriving in Europe from third countries.
  • Flights from the EU
  • If passengers have not received their lawful rights under the same law of non-EU countries.

Additionally, passengers are recommended the app “Your Passenger Rights” for the most comprehensive guide of passengers rights.

Khoa Pham

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