Passengers stranded at Birmingham Airport thanks to strike by Italian staff

Passengers hoping to fly out from Birmingham Airport to Italy for a summer holiday face hours of delays thanks to airport strikes.

Birmingham Airport
Birmingham Airport

Passengers flying to and from Italy are facing major disruption after two Italian unions called for a nationwide strike.

People have been left stranded at Birmingham Airport as their flights to Verona, Italy have been delayed for up to 17 hours, and flights from Verona back to Birmingham have also been delayed.

A Tui flight from Verona back to Birmingham Airport was scheduled to land at 11.55am, but is now expected at 04.48am on Thursday.

Another flight from Verona, this time a Jet2 flight was scheduled to land at 12.05pm but is now expected at 21.55pm.

One passenger said on Twitter: "Arghh! Stuck in Birmingham airport! It’s chaos!!! And @TUIUK are no use at all having told us too late our flight is delayed 12hrs due to air traffic control strike in Italy!"

Pilots and flight attendants from airlines including Ryanair, easyJet and Crewlink are set to strike for four hours from 10am until 2pm, according to Italian media.

Unions Italian Federation of Transport Workers (FILT) and Italian Union of Transport Workers (UILT) said the strike is over pay disputes, non-payment of sick days, summer leave and a "lack of water and meals for the crew".

UILT said that if an agreement is not reached, "this will be only the first of a series of protest actions that will make the summer 'hot'".

EasyJet has warned its customers that there may be some disruptions to its schedule.

In a statement, the airline said: "We are aware of possible multiple strike actions planned in Italy on June 8 impacting air traffic services.

"Like all airlines operating to and from Italy, we may see some disruption to our flying programme on this date.

"We advise customers due to travel to, from or within Italy on June 8 to check the status of their flights on our flight tracker on our mobile app or website at easyjet.com/(your flight number).

"Although this is outside of our control, we would like to reassure customers that we are doing all possible to minimise any disruption that may occur as a result of the strike action."

This comes after days of chaos at airports across the country, with easyJet forced to cancel at least 35 flights on Tuesday, with Gatwick the worst affected airport.

Hungarian carrier Wizz Air also scrapped at least seven flights to UK airports.

British Airways cancelled 124 Heathrow flights, although the airline said affected passengers were given advance notice.

Mark Meadows, 40, a journalist living in Berlin but originally from Manchester, said he had his flight from Manchester to Berlin cancelled on Tuesday after waiting for hours at the airport.

He told the PA news agency that he only realised his flight had been cancelled after it disappeared from the departures screen and after wandering around the airport, he eventually found somebody giving out information.

Mr Meadows said: "Eventually we were marched to a different gate.... with no-one really knowing what was going on, but then we had to wait ages to be allowed into the arrivals to get out of the airport with no one giving us any information at all.

"The airport is an absolute mess."

There have also been reports of massive queues and severe delays for the last month, due to staff shortages and a huge surge in demand as more people travel post-coronavirus restrictions.

Meanwhile, hundreds of check-in and ground staff employed by British Airways at Heathrow began voting on strike action on Tuesday.

Members of the Unite and GMB unions are being balloted in a dispute over pay which could cause chaos at the UK's busiest airport during the summer holiday period.

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