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20 Mar 2017

BY Rob Gill

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Flights cancelled due to Italian strikes

Airlines have been forced to cancel flights due to a strike by Italian air traffic controllers and airport ground handlers today (March 20).

Cancelled flight concept (stock)

Air traffic controllers in Italy are walking out between 1pm and 5pm local time, while there is also a 24-hour strike by ground handlers at some Italian airports.

 

Alitalia has had to cancel almost 40% of today’s flights, including both domestic and international services. Although the airline said that flights during the morning and evening rush hours were due to operate as scheduled.

 

“The airline has immediately taken special measures to minimise inconvenience to its customers, by rebooking passengers affected by cancellations on the first available flights, if possible on the same day,” said Alitalia in a statement on its website.

 

Ryanair has also been forced to cancel more than 70 flights as a result of the industrial action in Italy.

 

“Unfortunately, further flight delays and cancellations are likely and customers are asked to please monitor this notice which will be updated throughout the day,” said Ryanair in a statement.

 

“Ryanair sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused by these unjustified ATC disruptions which are entirely outside of our control.”

 

British Airways said it had “retimed” some of its flights to Italy but added that some cancellations were still “likely” on Monday.

 

“We have proactively retimed some flights to avoid the strike period, but unfortunately it is likely that we also have to cancel a small number of flights,” said the airline.

 

“We will be using larger aircraft, where possible, to help affected customers and are doing all we can to reduce any disruption.”

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