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More than a thousand flights canceled in Italy and Belgium due to strikes

Two strikes in the European aviation sector this Saturday. In Italy, a thousand flights departing from and arriving at airports have been canceled due to a strike by ground staff. They are demanding the renewal of their collective agreement.

In Belgium, a strike by Ryanair pilots over their working conditions forced the low-cost airline to cancel 120 flights departing from and arriving at Charleroi airport for Saturday and Sunday.

In Italy, 250,000 travelers affected by this strike

There, about 250,000 domestic and international travelers are affected by the walkout of handling and registration agents scheduled between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the call of an inter-union. They are demanding the signing of a new collective agreement, which expired six years ago.

At Fiumicino-Leonardo Da Vinci airport in Rome, around 200 flights were canceled, notably to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Barcelona or Palma de Mallorca, as well as Palermo or Catania in Sicily.

The companies Malta Air, which operates routes on behalf of Ryanair, Ita Airways (ex-Alitalia), and Vueling, whose pilots have decided to join the movement, are particularly affected. Nearly 150 flights were canceled at the two Milan airports, Linate and Malpensa, around thirty at Turin-Caselle, as many at Palermo.

Transport Minister Matteo Salvini called on the “common sense” of the strikers not to prolong their movement and “not to harm millions of other workers and tourists”.

Rest days not respected according to Belgian pilots

In Belgium, some 10,000 passengers who were to take off from Charleroi and about as many who were to land there are affected this weekend by the social movement, said the management of the airport.

Ryanair pilots based in the country criticize the company for not wanting to respect a collective agreement providing for rest days in exchange for wage cuts granted in 2020 at the time of the Covid-19 crisis.

The pilots’ unions accuse the Irish company of not respecting Belgian legislation and of prospering thanks to “social dumping” which creates unfair competition with other companies.

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