Etihad Airways cuts off flights to Rome over Italian aviation workers’ strike

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Etihad Airways has canceled its scheduled flights from Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, to Rome, Italy, which were due to take off on September 24, 2021. The airline said that such a decision was taken after an aviation workers’ strike in Italy on the same day.

According to the Etihad Airways flight schedule, two flights, numbered EYO83 and EY084, were supposed to fly passengers from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to Rome–Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) on September 24, 2021, but were canceled due to potential risks to passenger safety and comfort, the airline announced on September 22, 2021. The Khalifa City-based carrier warned its customers that those who “booked on these flights” will be rebooked for flights to Rome on September 25, 2021.

“The safety and comfort of our guests and crew is our number one priority and we regret any inconvenience caused by these flight cancellations. […] Etihad teams are also assisting these guests with their onward travel arrangements,“ the airline warned on its website.

Etihad flights were canceled after a strike of airport workers‘ and airline employees‘, which is planned to be held on September 24, 2021. According to Italian media outlet Ansa, Italian unions have already confirmed the aviation workers’ strike date. The industrial action in Rome is organized by unions to urge the local government to save the jobs of employees who used to work for Alitalia. The former country’s flag carrier will shut down completely on October 15, 2021, when its successor Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) will launch operations. 

The new Italian carrier ITA, which will have hubs at Rome–Fiumicino (FCO) and Milan Linate Airport (LIN), is set to start operations with 2,800 employees. The newcomer plans to gradually increase the staff number and employ around 5,750 people by the end of its current business strategy in 2025. However, its processor Alitalia employed around 11,000 staff members, meaning that the major part of them will be left jobless by mid-October 2021.

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