Alitalia’s ‘Black Wednesday’: 200 flights to and from Italy cancelled

Alitalia's 'Black Wednesday': 200 flights to and from Italy cancelled
Passengers board an Alitalia flight from Rome. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Some 200 international and domestic flights have been cancelled this week ahead of yet another strike at Italy's troubled Alitalia airline.

Alitalia pilots and flight attendants are preparing to strike on Wednesday, October 9th, but the disruption is expected to start from Tuesday evening and last into Thursday morning.

READ ALSO: What are my rights if a flight is cancelled or delayed?

The airline has cancelled scores of flights on Wednesday and around a dozen on the days either side. For a full list, see here (Wednesday) and here (Tuesday and Thursday). 

Most of the fights affected are within Italy, and all are within Europe. 

Flights scheduled between 7-10 am and 6-9 pm on Wednesday will operate as planned, Alitalia said. The airline estimates that 70 percent of travellers will be able to fly that day.

The walk-out relates to the protracted negotiations over a deal to rescue Alitalia, which declared bankruptcy two years ago.

The Italian government is currently involved in talks with state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato, motorway infrastructure group Atlantia and US airline Delta over a possible relaunch, but the consortium has not yet committed to a binding offer.

Trade unions object to the ongoing uncertainty, given that restructuring could involve significant job cuts.


Backed by the Italian government, Alitalia continues to operate and even expand despite its precarious situation. The latest addition to its routes is a direct flight between Rome and San Francisco, which will operate three times a week from next summer.

All passengers booked on Alitalia this week are advised to check the status of their flight before leaving for the airport. Assistance is available by calling 800 650 055 within Italy or +39 066 5649 from overseas.

Passengers can rebook their flight at no extra cost or, if their flight is cancelled or delayed by more than five hours, request a full refund by October 24th.

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