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Milan-Malpensa Airport

Italy strike to hit air travel

Some airlines are allowing rebooking, as Italian air traffic controllers announce a strike for tomorrow.

Yet another strike will impact flights in Europe this week. As the Air France strike drags on, grounding an as-yet unknown number of flights on May 7 and 8, now Italy’s air traffic control union is calling on its members to walk out on May 8.

The strike in Italy is really a combination of two national strikes and a series of strikes by local unions, The Points Guy reports, and it is expected to hit travel across much of the country from 10:00 until 18:00 local time.

According to Italian law, “essential services” must be maintained during a strike, which means that overflights and international arrivals will be exempt.

However, for impacted passengers, protection against air traffic control strikes is minimal, as EU261 regulations do not currently provide compensation for cancellations or delays from strikes initiated by a union.

Rebooking options
Only a few carriers are providing rebooking options, with oneworld partners American Airlines and British Airways, for example, offering customers to rebook any time between May 5 and 11 to flights on either airline. Delta is also rebooking passengers.

But easyJet says that no free changes are available at this time, and no waivers have yet been released by Alitalia, Air Italy, Air France, KLM, Lufthansa or United, The Points Guy says.

“Since 2010, ATC unions have caused more than 200 days of disruption resulting in cancellations and delays for millions of holiday makers across Europe,” the lobby group Airlines For Europe protests in a statement.

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