A 24 hour strike by staff on Wednesday resulted in Italian airline Alitalia cancelling 60 per cent of its flights for the day. The grounding affected flights such as those from Rome and Milan to London Heathrow, London City and New York’s JF Kennedy airports.
In a statement, Alitalia said it had done everything possible to reduce any inconvenience to passengers. The statement explained that bigger aircraft would be utilised where possible while some passengers had been booked onto the first flights after the strike was over.
Alitalia said the after-effects of the work stoppage would also impact on flight schedules for yesterday. One of the first casualties of this was a London Heathrow to Rome flight.
Airline workers in Italy noted that with such a large proportion of flights grounded it would take days for some passengers to get flights and for timetables to return to normal. Further strikes for the 21 April are in the pipeline and are expected to disrupt flights for passengers returning from Easter breaks.
The strike was called to protest redundancies and cost cutting measures the carrier’s management had proposed to turn losses around. The proposals could see 2,000 jobs axed and the salaries of cabin crews reduced by up to 30 per cent.
Before the strike, unions explained that Alitalia was trying to railroad a deal through before the 13 April but the sides were poles apart. UIL union representative Ivan Viglietti said the proposals would still not ensure the long-term future of the airline and it also needed to put more money into long-haul routes.