Ongoing social conflict within Skeyes, the company in charge of air traffic control in Belgium, has affected some 188,500 passengers at Brussels Airport since February, Arnaud Feist, the airport’s CEO, said on Thursday. As a consequence of strikes, passengers saw flights delayed, cancelled or missed their connection. These tensions have also had a significant impact on cargo activities, with many cargo flights, especially at night, diverted to Germany.
Since the beginning of the conflict, just over 400 flights have been cancelled, affecting 49,000 passengers and 10,000 tonnes of cargo. In addition, there has been a total of 718-hours of delays for about 136,000 travellers, according to BX1.
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In the freight sector too, social tensions with air traffic controllers have an impact. Since airspace closures often take place at night due to sick air traffic controllers, it is cargo flights that are the most affected.
Several of them were diverted to German airports, to the detriment of Brussels Airport. “This has a financial impact for the airport but also in terms of image,” says Feist. “It is not easy to restore trust,” he said.
Some of the freight companies have decided to relocate part of their activities to Germany, and the airport does not know whether this measure is temporary or not. The boss of Brussels Airport is, therefore, calling for a quick structural solution, according to reports in local media.
The Brussels Times