Brussels Airlines three-day strike: Three flights in ten cancelled

Brussels Airlines three-day strike: Three flights in ten cancelled
Credit: Belga/ Hatim Kaghat

The three-day strike action by some members of Brussels Airlines' cabin crew has entered its second day on Thursday, with the impact slightly greater than on Wednesday. The strike now means that only seven out of ten flights will run.

The action announced last week by the Dutch-speaking union ACV Puls and the French-speaking CNE began at Brussels Airlines on Wednesday. On the first day, the impact was limited to 20% of flights, the effect softened by the fact that other trade unions were not participating and the cancelled planes primarily concerned European flights. This allowed the airline to rebook them on other flights during the day.

However, more flights have been cancelled on Thursday with the airline expecting to operate only seven of its 10 flights.

"We regret to inform you that following social actions of one of our cabin crew unions, we unfortunately have to cancel a number of our scheduled flights," the company wrote on its website. "We understand how uncomfortable this situation is and sincerely thank you for your understanding and patience."

Multiple flights to and from cities in Europe including Milan, Frankfurt, Madrid, Hamburg, Toulouse and Copenhagen have already been cancelled. Flights to New York and Conakry have also been pulled. The full list can be found on the departures page of Brussels Airport.

People whose flights have been cancelled will be receiving a new booking proposal by email. Alternatives can be found via the Chat Assistant or by contacting the Brussels Airlines Service Centre (+32 2 723 23 62).

Failed negotiations

The Christian trade union CNE (which called the strike) says that crew at Brussels Airlines have long expressed the sense that they are underappreciated, which has led to exasperation. Their demands made several months ago have been ignored by their employer, the union argued.

The cabin crew are demanding better salary conditions and a reduction in workload.

All unions, including the Christian trade unions, met with the Brussels Airlines management on Wednesday but negotiations failed by the night. Despite what the airline said was a "very substantial" management proposal, an agreement could not be reached.

In response, the Christian union CNE/ACV Puls at the heart of the strike action decided to continue the action on Thursday. The other unions have still not joined in on the call to strike.

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