Flights face cancellation and disruption today due to a day of industrial action by air traffic controllers, airport ground handlers and security staff in Italy.

EasyJet has been forced to cancel more than 50 flights as a result and warned that the strike will also affect services using Italian air space.

“There is a risk of delays and late notice cancellations depending on the scale of the strike during the afternoon and evening period,” the airline warned.

The majority of the disruption is expected between 1pm and 5pm local time when air traffic controllers walk out.

“As a consequence, easyJet has reduced its Italian flights, and as a result we have proactively cancelled 56 flights. The strike will also impact all flights that over-fly Italian airspace,” the airline said.

EasyJet is offering full refunds for flights cancelled or free-of-charge transfers to alternative services.

Meanwhile, bad weather was causing high levels of flight delays at airports across Europe this morning.

Fog was affecting Gatwick while Brussels, Gatwick, Amsterdam, Paris CDG, Paris Orly and Lisbon were also suffering from poor conditions, according to Eurocontrol.

People trying to get to Heathrow from central London were also experiencing difficulties due to a reduced service by the Heathrow Express, blamed on over-running engineering works.

A limited half hourly service was running between Paddington and the airport.