Alitalia’s final weeks flying marked by protests, apologies

ROME (AP) — Italy’s failing national airline Alitalia is telling passengers to just bring a single piece of hand luggage when travelling. That’s because intensifying strikes and labor protests are disrupting services ahead of the airline’s planned Oct. 14 demise. In a series of tweets Tuesday, Alitalia apologized to its customers and blamed the disruptions on union meetings. Alitalia has been in the red for more than a decade. It is due to formally leave the airline market next month and be replaced by a new national carrier ITA, short for Italy Air Transport. Alitalia employees have been protesting that ITA is only going to hire around a quarter of the airline’s estimated 10,000 employees.