Brussels Airlines management is negotiating with trade unions who are trying to get the airline company to reduce the heavy workload for staff and cabin crew as soon as possible. If management refuses, another strike looks likely, with the potential result being the cancellation of hundreds of flights in the coming weeks, reports Het Niuewsblad.
Airline companies across Europe have struggled due to high demand and availability of flights, which added to staff shortages following two years of the pandemic have stretched airline staff and cabin crew. Yet despite rising demand and offers for flights, Brussels Airlines was unprepared for the busy summer season, which resulted in its staff striking in late June.
Not enough concessions
Despite the airline cutting down on 148 flights in June and promising to hire 225 additional cabin crew, unions say that the concessions that management promised have not materialised. Only when unions threatened to take a last resort action again was Brussels Airlines willing to meet once more.
"We expect a very clear signal from the management about how they are going to reduce the unbearable workload for staff," said Tim Roelants of the liberal trade union ACLVB in Het Nieuwsblad.
The issue for Brussels Airlines management is whether it has the financial means to cancel hundreds of flights, as the airline - a subsidiary if German Lufthansa - has already been piling on losses for years.
But the Lufthansa affiliation - a member of the Star Alliance group of airlines - could come as a lifeline for passengers whose flights with Brussels Airlines may be cancelled, as they may be able to get a seat on a Lufthansa flight instead.