Air traffic in Brussels Airport is severely impacted after a work-to-rule strike by handler Swissport broke out early on Tuesday, halting ground operations and leading airport officials to warn passengers of possible delays.
Flights operated by Brussels Airlines are particularly hit by the worker’s actions, but flights by other airlines including Emirates, United Airlines, Air Canada, Alitalia, Air Arabia or Germanwings are also set to be affected.
A spokesperson for Brussels Airlines told Belgian media that it would attempt to mitigate the impact of the strike on its operations, but warned that “they could not handle everything.”
The strike comes after talks between trade unions and management on Monday saw the former walk away unsatisfied.
As a result of possible work-to-rule actions this morning at Swissport, flight delays are possible. We advise passengers who fly from Brussels Airport to come to the airport well in advance.
— Brussels Airport (@BrusselsAirport) July 2, 2019
The ground handler’s employees are carrying out the action to drive attention to their “unsustainable” work conditions, as employees report being “exhausted” by work overload.
“In all departments, there is a question of understaffing,” one representative told Aviation24, adding: “At the beginning of the period of holidays, the workers are already exhausted.”
“Workers tell me that a team of five is doing a job for ten people,” another trade union spokesperson, Fouad Bougrine, told Belgian media, adding that understaffing was also a common reason for flight delays.
Brussels Airport warned passengers that delays were possible and advised travellers to “come to the airport well in advance,” as the actions could reportedly last until 10:00 AM.
The Brussels Times