Italian national carrier Alitalia was forced to cancel 394 flights—including 12 intercontinental flights—between late evening April 4 and early morning April 6 because of a 24-hour strike action called by trade unions, the SkyTeam member reported on its website.

“I can’t say how many flights [in total] will be canceled, but we have been able to rebook 92% of our passengers; 50% of them were able to fly today. It is the second Alitalia strike this year,” a spokesperson in Rome told ATW.

The strike action comes following a March 31 meeting that included Alitalia’s incoming president Luigi Gubitosi, Alitalia’s outgoing president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo and several Italian government ministers.

“I can confirm that from tomorrow [April 6], the parties will begin talks about a rescue plan with the protesting labor unions,” the spokesperson said. A deadline for the deal is set for April 13, according to Italy’s news agency ANSA.

Alitalia’s new business restructuring plan, as approved by the airline’s board March 15, calls for 2,000 job cuts, as part of a plan to trim Alitalia’s costs by €1 billion ($1.1 billion) by 2019. 

Alitalia is 49%-owned by Gulf carrier Etihad Airways, which stepped in to bail out the carrier in 2014. Compagnia Aerea Italiana (CAI) owns the remaining 51% stake in the airline.

Kurt Hofmann