Pilots and cabin crew at Alitalia to go on 24-hour strike

Pilots and flight attendants of Alitalia are set to go on strike over pay today.

A statement from the Anpac pilots and cabin crew union confirmed the 24-hour strike across the country – except flights to and from the airports of Bologna and Venice.

Alitalia said that it has cancelled about 15 per cent of the flights scheduled for July 24.


The Italian flag carrier said the strike action would disrupt short- and medium-range flights, but there would be no cancellations for long-haul flights to North America, South America and the Far East.

“Alitalia is contacting passengers of the cancelled flights to provide information and assistance,” the airline said. “Passengers affected by cancellations are entitled to rerouting on alternative Alitalia flights, changing their reservation by July 30 or full reimbursement of their ticket.”

A source close to the matter said that the strike was “expected to be massive”, declining to disclose the number of pilots and flight attendants who would participate.

One of the reasons behind the stoppage is an unequal pay structure between Alitalia and its CityLiner unit.

“The main reason is the missing harmonisation of the pilots and flight attendants of CityLiner with Alitalia, despite doing the same job,” said the source.

In response, Alitalia said that on July 21 an agreement with “major improvements” had been reached with six labour unions.

Unions also object to the use of external crew on some planes used by the carrier during its busy summer months.

About 240 pilots and 750 flight attendants were laid off last summer by the ailing airline. They receive payments as part of state aid until next February.

Alitalia said that the reasons behind Anpac’s strike were “unfounded”, adding that it considered the strike “disrespectful of the sacrifices” that passengers and workers at the national air transport had to go through to reopen Pier D at Rome’s Fiumicino airport two months after a fire.

“The hypothesis of the 1,000 redundancies in 2016 is the result of pure imagination, not having any substance,” said Alitalia.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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