September 23, 2019
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Italian airline Alitalia cancels more than 280 flights due to strike

Rome, May 21 (efe-epa).- Italian airline Alitalia has canceled more than 280 flights on Tuesday amid a national 24-hour strike called by air sector unions.

Scheduled services on routes across Europe have been grounded, including several from and to Madrid, Barcelona, ??Milan and Rome.

Passengers have been warned to check their flights before traveling amid widespread disruption.

The strike was organized by the main unions in the country and involved pilots, flight attendants, maintenance technicians, ground staff and airport management.

It was called to protest labor conditions in the airline industry and specifically because of the Italian government’s indecision over Alitalia, which went into insolvency administration in 2017.

The airline has been one of the most affected and has been forced to suspend half of its flights, although it has reported in a statement that it has tried to relocate passengers and that "60% can travel."

A list published on its website said there were canceled scheduled itineraries to and from Rome, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, ??Paris, London, Brussels and New York.

But it has not been the only company affected, Iberia, Vueling, British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have also been hit by the industrial action.

Several internal flights within Italy have also been suspended, including between Rome, Milan, Venice, Naples and Genoa.

The strike is due to take place for the whole day, with two guaranteed time slots, one in the morning and the other in the early evening.

Workers held a picket line in front of the Roman airport of Fiumicino, where they have asked for improvements in their working conditions and for the Italian government to resolve the uncertainty about the future of Alitalia.

Alitalia has been managed by three insolvency administrators since 2017 and is currently experiencing a state of paralysis after Italian authorities decided not to sell it to foreign hands but to keep it Italian.

The public company Ferrovie dello Stato is in charge of developing a strategic plan with which it intends to attract private investors, but so far it has requested three extensions, the last one expires on June 15. EFE-EPA

lsc/rb

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