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Flight Cancellations Disrupt Travel Plans As Strikes Hit Italy’s Peak Tourist Season

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(CTN NEWS) – Saturday saw the cancellation of numerous flights throughout Italy, compelling travelers in the midst of the peak tourist season to arrange alternative plans.

The air transport unions proceeded with their scheduled work stoppage, which occurred just two days after a train strike that brought rail service to a standstill.

Transport strikes during the summer months are common in Italy, leaving both commuters and tourists stranded while unions advocate for improved work contracts and conditions.

This year, these strikes are having a significant impact as they coincide with a tourism boom following two years of losses caused by the pandemic.

Italy’s national carrier, ITA, was forced to cancel 133 flights, primarily domestic routes, with a few flights to European destinations such as Madrid, Amsterdam, and Barcelona also affected.

Additionally, low-cost airlines Ryanair and Vueling canceled dozens of flights in response to the strike, which took place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The striking workers included pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers, and airport personnel.

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Flight Cancellations Disrupt Travel Plans as Strikes Hit Italy’s Peak Tourist Season

Dozens of flights were visibly canceled on the website of Naples’ airport, with a similar scene unfolding at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport.

Expressing her disappointment, Stefania Spatola from Philadelphia, who was traveling with a group of 35 family members, shared her frustration: “Yeah, it got canceled.

It was ITA Airways to Catania. All our flights got messed up. It’s horrible. It’s really, really horrible.”

Labor unions Filt Cgil, Uiltrasporti, and Ugl Trasporto declared the strike due to “absolutely unsatisfactory” contract disputes with Malta Air, the operator of Ryanair flights.

Ryanair issued an apology on its website, acknowledging the cancellations and other disruptions caused by the strike, emphasizing that it was “beyond our control.”

Sara di Marco, the spokesperson for Filt Cgil, criticized the government for delaying the renewal of work contracts and scheduling last-minute meetings with the unions.

“We are not happy about inconveniencing customers because that is not our objective,” she stated.

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Last-Minute Meeting Controversy and Rail Strike Leave Travelers Stranded in Italy

According to Di Marco, they had sought an earlier meeting with the ministry instead of just one day before the strike, suggesting that this last-minute arrangement was an intentional effort to “defer or preempt” the strike.

On Thursday, both commuters and tourists found themselves stranded at sweltering train stations across the country due to a rail workers’ strike that severely disrupted services, including high-speed trains that are typically reliable.

Lizzy Lake, who arrived at Rome’s airport in preparation for her return flight to London, was taken aback to discover that she would have to extend her stay in the Eternal City for a few more days before being able to depart.

“We love Rome, so we’re excited to have a few more days here, but it’s undeniably frustrating. I have a young son, and we just want to get back home now,” she expressed.

“However, strikes are not uncommon in England, so we’re somewhat accustomed to it.”

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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