Italian Air traffic controllers strike disrupts hundreds of flights

Published on : Saturday, January 12, 2019

 The four-hour strike by a national Air Traffic Control (ATC) today will be affecting hundreds of flights across Italy. After following 30 strikes in 2018 this is the first of 2019.



The strike action will see participation from workers at Air Traffic Control centres in Rome, Milan, Brindisi and will further affect both domestic and international flights to and from the country.



The industrial action will see participation from staffs based in Catania, Turin, Genoa, Perugia and Pescara.


Airline lobbying group Airlines for Europe (A4E) has called for an “improved continuity of service for passengers”. The organisation has proposed a series of solutions to the ongoing strike action, including a mandatory 72-hour individual notification period for staff wishing to strike, and protection of overflights.



To accommodate the increasing volume of traffic in European airspace the organisation also asked for developments needed in technology, technology and human resources.



Thomas Reynaert, managing director of A4E requested the European policymakers to prioritize the issue.




He said that there was a clear increase in the frequency and duration of ATC strikes in Europe, there were 30 days of strike in 2018 as compared to 24 days in 2017. The trend can continue and he urged national and EU politicians to address the situation on an immediate basis as the European aviation’s reputation was at stake.



Pawel Niewiadomski, president of the European Travel Agents and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA) however acknowledged the right to strike.



He said that  this cannot be at the expense of travellers in Europe. They had supported A4E in their call to national and European regulators to address the issues as a matter of urgency to avoid continuous travel disruptions for business travellers and holidaymakers.



Passengers have been advised  on EasyJet’s website to attend the airport as planned even though cancellations and potential delays were expected.The airlines will be getting in touch with passengers on affected flights via text or email.



There are regular updates by British Airways on its website and it is recommended for passengers planning to travel to and from Italy over the next 24 hours to check the airline’s website regarding updates.


As per the EU261 regulation if a passenger’s flight was cancelled due to strike they will not be entitled to claim for compensation mentioned easyJet.

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