Alitalia Workers Strike, 250 Milan Flights Cut

October 23, 2007

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Striking Alitalia workers forced more than 250 flights at Milan's airports to be canceled on Monday in a protest at the struggling carrier's cutback plans.

Strikers blocked access to the main international airport, Malpensa, as part of the four-hour stoppage, Milan airport operator SEA said. The strike was the latest in a string of actions to hit Italy's national airline.

At least 197 takeoffs and arrivals were canceled at Malpensa, and another 57 at the smaller Linate Airport, Sea said.

The stoppage coincides with a visit to Italy by officials of the International Exhibitions Bureau. They are evaluating Milan's candidacy to host an international expo in 2015.

Alitalia said in August it would cut its presence in Milan, the hub of Italy's industrial north, as part of a survival plan as it looks for a buyer.

Another 25 flights were canceled at Rome's Fiumicino and Ciampino airports because air traffic controllers struck for four hours over a contract dispute, air traffic control company ENAV said in a statement.

A strike by Rome service crews also grounded or delayed some flights of low-cost carriers, the Rome airport operator said.

(Reuters)