Hundreds of flights have been canceled, affecting up to 68,000 passengers

At least 400 national and international flights were canceled in Italy on Sunday as airline staff, cabin crew and pilots employed by budget carriers staged a four-hour strike, Corriere della Sera reports.

The industrial action reportedly involved staff employed by Ryanair, Volotea, easyJet and Air Malta, as well as the flight attendant company CrewLink. Italian state-backed ITA Airways said it had canceled 122 flights, which accounted for 40% of the carrier’s daily capacity. Several trade unions also called on staff of the air traffic control company ENAV to join the stoppage.

As a result of the protest, easyJet canceled flights from Milan’s Linate Airport to Berlin and from Rome-Fiumicino to Amsterdam. Ryanair said it had been forced to cancel some flights because of the strike at ENAV.

The strike, which is expected to impact up to 68,000 passengers, has occurred over a dispute about workers’ rights, working conditions, and the payment of minimum wage in the industry.

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The impact could have been worse, as the action was initially planned to last 24 hours, but intervention by the Guarantee Commission led to a reduction to four hours.

The action is the latest in a series of strikes in Italy. Two previous protests took place on June 8 and June 25.

According to a statement issued by ENAV, the stoppage will last from 2pm to 6pm local time. Flights scheduled between 7am and 10am, as well as those between 6pm to 9pm, won’t be affected. 

Earlier this week, the Uiltrasporti union said pilots and flight attendants with low-cost airlines were working under “continuing unacceptable conditions,” accusing easyJet of unjustified dismissals and Volotea of lowering minimum wages.

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