[Travel News] All Brussels’ Outbound Flights Were Cancelled Due To Strike

Belgian police estimated that around 80,000 protestors have gone on a strike that has caused all outbound flights from Brussels to be called off, which disappoints travellers.

The airport had to cancel all of the flights as the preponderance of the security staff partook in the strike for higher salary as the workforce’s purchasing power took a hit due to rising inflation.

232 was the number of flights scheduled for boarding that were cancelled, whereas only a fourth of flights coming in operated as usual.The news was laid bare to passengers through Brussels Airport’s site and social media. Freight traffic was not affected, fortunately.

On June 20, the airline posted on Twitter: “Due to the strike on Monday, June 20 and the lack of security personnel at G4S, there will be no passenger flights departing from Brussels Airport tomorrow to ensure the safety of passengers and staff. We urge passengers not to go to the airport on Monday. Arrival flights will be maintained.”

The airport also issued a warning in the following days, stating that more and more passengers are anticipated to reach the airport due to the cancellations mentioned above.

There were around 100 of the passengers that had missed the notification, who were found inside of the airport, some of whom sought a change or a refund while others idly waited on the seats or on the floor.

German travel group TUI reached out offering help to the Belgian flight operators, rearranging flights that were supposed to have taken off in Brussels to disembark from other airports within Belgium.

The strike broke out in Belgium after the call from three main unions petitioning for higher salaries as inflation upped the living expenses in the last few months. A demonstration was meant to take place on Monday in downtown Brussels, in which up to 80,000 people were expected to join.

It is worth noting that such employee-wellness-related issues have happened before. In November 2021, Brussels Airport had to cancel their flights due to security guards’ work-to-rule strike, resulting in 100 passengers missing their planes.

Although the security procedures were executed without stymies, officers were noted to perform their duty slower and exercised extreme scrutiny over passengers, luggage, and travellers’ documentation, resulting in slow security and customs checks.

Security checks were dialled up to eleven in response to salary negotiation failure. Image from Unsplash

As a result, long queues and traffic jams emerged within the airport’s ground, causing 25 flights to third countries to be delayed up to 90 minutes. To tackle the situation, Brussels Airport recommended all their passengers who are affected by the cancellations to reach out to their airlines for support and compensation.

Earlier, on October 29, several labour unions announced a work-to-rule strike at Brussels Zaventem (BRU) and Brussels South Charleroi (CRL) airports, stating the purpose of the protest was the salary negotiations failure and understaffing complaints.

Khoa Pham

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