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Ryanair has condemned the latest strike by air traffic controllers as it was forced to ground more than 100 flights in Italy.

Industrial action by air traffic controllers in France and Greece has affected thousands of passengers in the past few weeks.

Italian controllers are due to walk out between 1pm and 5pm on Saturday, affecting all flights.

“Due to an Italian air traffic control strike we regret that we have to cancel 108 flights to/from/within Italy tomorrow,” Ryanair said.

“We sincerely apologise to all customers disrupted by these unjustified strikes – the 5th such ATC strike in the last three weeks – by ATC unions who are holding European consumers to ransom.

“We call on the Italian government and EU Commission to take action to prevent any further ATC disruptions.

“We encourage all customers to sign our online petition ‘Keep Europe’s Skies Open’ which we will present to the EU Commission and the EU Parliament to force them to finally take action to protect consumers from these unjustified ATC strike disruptions.”

EasyJet said: “We are doing everything possible to minimise the impact of the strike on our customers, and have taken the decision to proactively cancel a number of flights, allowing customers to reorganise their journeys.”

British Airways has also been forced to cancel some flights to and from Italy and re-timed others.

“We will be using larger aircraft, where possible, to help affected customers and are doing all we can to reduce the levels of disruption,” the carrier said.