MILAN – Travelers are set to brace themselves for another strike that is scheduled to disrupt flight operations in Italy.
In this regard, Italian airline ITA has started canceling flights, and further disruption is expected as staff at airports around the country plan a walkout this Friday.
Media reports say flyers can expect delays and possible cancellations on Friday as ground staff at Italian airports have announced a 24-hour walkout lasting from midnight on Friday to 11.59 pm the same day.
The scale of the disruption has yet to be ascertained as the number of those set to protest is not clear though ITA has already announced multiple flight cancellations between Thursday and Saturday due to the strike.
The carrier has so far announced the cancellation of 30 flights, four of which had been scheduled to leave on September 7th and one on September 9th.
In a press release, the airline said passengers whose flights on September 8th are canceled or delayed will be able to change their booking free of charge and request a full refund if there is a delay of more than five hours.
The strike would involve members of four of the larger trade unions representing airport workers: FLAI, USB, FIT-CISL and CUB. They are calling for contracts with greater job security and wage increases to combat soaring inflation.
Interestingly, Milan’s Malpensa airport is also expecting disruption as cargo-handling staff from the company Alha, which operates at the airport, are also exploring a separate 24-hour protest on the same day,thelocal reported.
What can worsen the situation is the fact that in Verona, baggage handling staff at Catullo Airport are also planning to hold their own strike from 1 pm to 5 pm. Presently, there are no specific strike warnings related to Rome’s airports.
As far as the flights that would go uninterrupted are concerned, Italy’s civil aviation authority Enac has released a list of flights that are guaranteed to go ahead on Friday irrespective of the strike.
Protected flights include all those scheduled to depart in the windows between 7-10 am and 6-9 pm, as well as once-daily domestic flights connecting Italy’s islands to the mainland.