Brussels Airlines has already cancelled 28 flights to and from Brussels Airport, scheduled for 13 February. The day in question is a national strike day, ordered by the joint trade union front. The strike consequences could yet be significant, dependent upon the level of strike participation by other players in the airline sector. If the Skeyes air traffic controllers are forced to strike in vast numbers, airline traffic could be practically paralyzed.
Brussels Airlines would normally have had to guarantee the operation of 222 flights on 13 February but 28 are as of now cancelled: 14 outward and 14 return. In total 1,256 passengers are affected, and a flight reservation has been made for them on another flight, explains the spokeswomen from the airline.
The flights cancelled are those to and from cities normally served by Brussels Airlines several times a day, such as Berlin, Geneva, London and Stockholm. These flights have been cancelled on the basis of information available up to now. Of particular relevance are the consequences of the strike on the operations of the ground services handling company. There is still only a provisional estimate of such consequences.
According to the Christian trade union, the order to strike within Skeyes, the company responsible for air traffic control, will have to be followed. “There will be no scheduled or charter flights within Belgian airspace,” predicts Kurt Callaerts of the Flemish wing of the Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (known as the ‘ACV’). “We are hoping for clarification upon the issue as quickly as possible, so that we are able to alert our passengers,” concludes Brussels Airlines.
For its part, neither does Brussels Airport have a clear view of the extent of disruption to expect. Delays and cancellations are to be expected, and passengers are invited to contact their airline.