Brussels Airlines holds Belgian air traffic control centre Skeyes responsible for the damage suffered, which is at least 4 million euros. The closure of the Belgian airspace since 09:30 AM on Thursday affects thousands of passengers. At the airports of Zaventem and Charleroi, a total of 100 flights were cancelled, in addition to the many flights whose take-off or landing were delayed.
Many flights in Brussels Airport Zaventem are delayed until 13:00, at which time the airspace must reopen. However, the airport is expecting delays to last until the evening, according to a spokesperson.
At Brussels South Charleroi Airport, five take-offs and five landings were cancelled, and delays are piling up as well.
Since a strike at Skeyes is a third party strike and not the direct responsibility of the airlines, the right to financial compensation for passengers is no longer valid. The airline cannot legally be obliged to pay a financial compensation, for something they did not cause or have control over, not even when the third party strikes lead to the delay or cancellation of flights. However, European passenger rights entitle travellers to a hotel stay if their next flight requires an overnight stay, or an airport transfer.
Brussels Airlines is considering taking legal action against Skeyes.