Strike in Italy to Cause Flight Cancellations, Delays After G-7 Summit

A strike by air traffic controllers in Italy and some Alitalia staff is expected to cause flight cancellations and delays this Sunday, May 28.

Airwise reports that the air traffic controller strike is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., while several unions representing Alitalia workers are set to strike from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (all times local).

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the strike comes after Alitalia filed for bankruptcy earlier this month. Additionally, the G-7 meeting is set for this Friday and Saturday in Sicily, meaning the strike could impact support staff and journalists who plan to fly out Sunday.

According to Deutsche Welle, Alitalia has been battling with unions over wage and job cuts aimed at turning around the airline’s finances. The publication has a video analysis of the situation here.

In a statement on its website Alitalia said that it is taking special measures to rebook the highest number of affected passengers onto the first available flights. So far, 80 percent of passengers have been rebooked. The airline is also adding additional staff to the Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate airports to assist customers, as well as additional call center staff. Alitalia will also operate bigger aircraft on several domestic and international routes in order to carry as many passengers as possible. A full list of canceled Alitalia flights is available here.

Budget airline easyJet is also reporting that it expects the strike to impact its operations, potentially causing cancellations.

“We will advise any affected customers of any flight changes via e-mail and SMS,” easyJet said on its website. “We therefore ask customers not to call the call center.”

American Airlines has issued a change fee waiver for customers traveling to/through/from affected airports if they bought their ticket by May 24, are scheduled to travel May 28, and can travel May 26 – 30. Travel must be between the same city pair and in the original cabin, or travelers can pay the difference.

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