Hundreds of flights cancelled by airlines including EasyJet and Ryanair due to Italian air traffic control strike

Rebecca Smith
Ryanair has cancelled 74 flights today
Ryanair has cancelled 74 flights today (Source: Getty)

An Italian air traffic control strike today has caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights, as airlines warned of travel disruption throughout the day.

Passengers flying to and from Italy will have their travel disrupted due to the industrial action, which is expected to last for four hours this afternoon.

Airlines for Europe (A4E) said it expects more than 500 flights to be cancelled and passengers will also face delays for the rest of the day "when cancellations and delays have a knock-on effect on other European flights".

Read more: 1,000 flights cancelled thanks to strikes - and there's more chaos ahead

The strike won't be as severe as French industrial action earlier this month as it just for today, compared to the five day French walkout.

But EasyJet, Ryanair and British Airways have all had to cancel flights today, while Flybe has warned passengers to monitor its live arrivals and departure page online as the strike might disrupt some flights.

EasyJet has had to cancel 58 flights and reschedule 20, with six of the cancellations UK flights. These included London Gatwick to Turin and London Gatwick to Milan Malpensa.

A spokesperson said: “EasyJet has been advised of a national ATC industrial action from 13.00 to 17.00 local time on Monday 20 March.

“Like other airlines flying to and from Italy, EasyJet expects an impact on its operations and has had to cancel 58 flights and reschedule 20 flights to and from Italy. There is also a possibility that other flights may experience delays.

“Affected customers can change their flight free of charge or receive a refund."

“Although this is outside of our control we would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience and would like to assure them that we are doing all possible to minimise any disruption as a result of the industrial action.”

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Ryanair has cancelled 74 flights, and said: "Unfortunately, further delays and cancellations are likely.

"Ryanair sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused by these unjustified ATC disruptions which are entirely outside of our control."

BA has re-timed some of its flights to and from Italy in an effort to avoid the strike action and also said it had cancelled "a small number of flights" and will be operating larger aircraft on these routes.

Elsewhere, Alitalia has had to cancel nearly 40 per cent of its flights today due to the industrial action.

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