Hundreds of flights across Italy are canceled amid air transport strike at peak of tourism season


Hundreds of flights across Italy have been canceled after air transport unions went ahead with a planned work stoppage

Italy Air Transport Strike

Passengers wait for their flights during a nationwide strike of airports ground staff, and check-in services at Rome’s Fiumicino International airport in Fumicino, Italy, Saturday, July 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The Associated Press

ROME — Hundreds of flights across Italy were canceled Saturday, forcing travelers at the peak of tourist season to make alternate plans, after air transport unions went ahead with a planned work stoppage two days following a train strike that paralyzed rail service.

Summertime in Italy is often the peak season for transport strikes, stranding commuters and tourists alike as unions press demands for better work contracts and conditions. This year, the strikes are taking their toll amid a tourism boom following two years of pandemic losses.

National carrier ITA said it canceled 133 flights, most of them domestic but a few to European destinations such as Madrid, Amsterdam and Barcelona. Low-cost airlines Ryanair and Vueling canceled dozens of other flights due to the strike from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Striking workers included pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers and airport personnel.

The website of Naples’ airport showed dozens of flights canceled starting at 10 a.m.

Labor unions Filt Cgil, Uiltrasporti and Ugl Trasporto said they called the strike over “absolutely unsatisfactory” contract disagreements with Malta Air, which operates Ryanair flights. Ryanair posted a note on its website apologizing for cancellations and other disruptions due to the strike that is “beyond our control.”

On Thursday, commuters and tourists were stranded at sweltering train stations across the country as a strike by rail workers crippled service including high-speed trains that are usually guaranteed.

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