Italy Airline Strike Grounds Flights

Italy Airline Strike Grounds Flights

MILAN (AP) -- Alitalia unions are mounting a 24-hour strike to protest job and salary cuts that are part of the new plan to relaunch the struggling Italian airline.

The carrier, which is controlled by Emirates-based Etihad Airways, said the strike Wednesday was forcing the cancellation of 60 percent of flights. It said it was using bigger aircraft on its busiest routes and that more than 90 percent of passengers had been rebooked.

Unions say the plan announced last month lacks credibility with a view to short-term savings without a longer-term growth plans.

The Italian news agency ANSA says the government has been meeting with the Italian shareholders, which control 51 percent of the airline, to come up with an investment to help the airline return to health.