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Published on Friday, January 11, 2019

Italian ATC workers to strike today

Airlines are being forced to cancel hundreds of flights as 2019's first national Air Traffic Control strike takes place in Italy this afternoon.

ATC centres in Rome, Milan, and Brindisi will go on strike, affecting both domestic and intra-European flights to and from Italy.

Intercontinental flights and overflights are not expected to be impacted.

Travellers may face additional headaches as workers at Catania, Turin, Genoa, Perugia, and Pescara airports are also expected to participate in the strike action.

Thomas Reynaert, managing director of Airlines for Europe (A4E), which represents many airlines in the region, including easyJet, International Airlines Group and, said: "The new year is a chance for a fresh new start.

"Unfortunately, when it comes to Europe's air traffic control strikes, old habits re-emerge year after year.

"The result is millions of travellers will continue to have their travel plans disrupted this year unless EU and national policy makers make this issue a priority."

In the countries most affected by controllers' strikes, A4E is calling for an improved continuity of service for passengers and has proposed a number of solutions to address the situation, including a mandatory 72-hour individual notification period for employees wishing to strike and protection of overflights (while not at the expense of the country where the strike originates).

In addition, investments are required in technology, processes and human resources to make Europe's overall air traffic management system capable of coping with ever-increasing traffic.

"There is a clear increase in the frequency and duration of ATC strikes in Europe, with 30 days of strike in 2018 compared with 24 days in 2017. This is a trend which cannot continue - we urge national and EU politicians to address the situation immediately. European aviation's reputation is at stake", Reynaert added.

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