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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 07:44 GMT 08:44 UK
Italy airline strike hits Britain
Alitalia aeroplanes
Alitalia has been hit by strike action over staff contracts
A planned eight-hour strike by flight attendants and air traffic controllers in Italy has led to passengers in Britain being affected.

British Airways says it has cancelled 16 of its flights to Italy - 10 from Gatwick and six from Heathrow.

The strike is taking place from 0800 BST to 1600 BST as a result of a row over contract negotiations.

East Midlands Airport has also cancelled flights, as has Stansted, Luton and Liverpool.

The flight crews refusing to fly have been insisting that rules regulating the number of crew members and the hours of rest between flights be observed to the letter.

Strikes, competition from low-cost competitors and high fuel costs have plagued Alitalia, which has cancelled a total of almost 400 flights scheduled for Tuesday as a result of the action.

About 30 flights were cancelled on Monday because of the rule-book protest, according to reports in Italy.

And a strike by Alitalia flight attendants on 3 May forced the airline to cancel 350 flights.

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