The airline accuses Brussels Airlines and Brussels Airport, which both “lost” the Belgian Red Devils in this affair, of being responsible for these checks.
“There is certainly a problem of false independence and illegal subcontracting within the Lithuanian airline Klasjet, responsible for transporting the Belgian Red Devils to and from the cities hosting their matches during the European Championship (EC) football,” says Charleroi’s labor auditor Charles-Eric Clesse to press agency Belga, after two crew checks.
“A few days before the start of the tournament, we learned that the Red Devils would leave Charleroi Airport to go to the various host cities of their matches and not from Brussels Airport, and that it would be Klasjet, a VIP company specialized in this type of transport, which would take care of it and not Brussels Airlines, partner of the Belgian Union. Very quickly arose criticisms of the salaries very much lower than the Belgian standards of the flight crew of the Lithuanian company.”
On Thursday evening, Klasjet issued a press release denouncing “an illegal detention of the crew by the Belgian authorities” on Wednesday evening when the aircraft just landed from a flight from Munich, Germany.
During this second check, the four cabin crew members and the two pilots were heard again for three hours. Their cell phones were seized, as with any hearing, to prevent them from being able to communicate with each other, they were not deprived of their freedoms – two points denounced by Klasjet on Thursday evening – and interpreters were present. All were heard in the status of witness, which does not require the assistance of a lawyer, details the labor auditor, which ensures strict compliance with the social code.
It emerges from their hearing that there is certainly a problem of bogus independence and illegal subcontracting, analyzes Charles-Eric Clesse. The staff are working for a Dubai company. These findings will be denounced and transmitted to the Lithuanian judicial and social authorities.
In the press release (read below), Klasjet accuses Brussels Airlines and Brussels Airport, which both “lost” the Red Devils contract, of being responsible for these checks. “They have nothing to do with it,” replies the labor auditor. “We saw in the media that there was a question of social dumping and when we learned that the plane was coming to Charleroi, we decided to open an administrative and then a judicial investigation“, he explains. .
“There will no longer be any such control,” says Charles-Eric Clesse. “We found the offenses and passed them on to the Lithuanian authorities. We are no longer competent for the rest.”
Press release: KlasJet airline crews arrest becomes a part of the football game
- The not-so-beautiful game – how despot tactics are threatening the travel plans of UEFA favourites
- KlasJet crew unlawfully detained by Belgium Authorities after flying in to collect national team
For four weeks now KlasJet, the European business aviation company, is entangled in an unprecedented situation, which yesterday culminated in the arrest of KlasJet’s crews at Brussels South Charleroi Airport in Belgium. This is just the tip of the iceberg that was a month-long harassment and terrorising actions, executed with the help of Belgian authorities and by using the undisclosed legal framework to discriminate against EU based carrier KlasJet by obstructing the company’s routine operations.
In the late evening of June 30th, the KlasJet crew was detained at the Charleroi Airport without any reason. The distressed crew members were not allowed to contact anyone, their phones were taken away and the crew were brought for interrogation. The crew were denied the fundamental human rights to contact anyone, request legal support and give testimony in their native language. This exhausting three hours-long show did not materialise in any reasoning or explanations from the authorities.
As those attacks materialising in a form of a never-ending torrent of e-mails, threatening requests, inspections and physical interrogations of the crews continues for weeks already, and all our repetitive inquiries for authorities to clarify legal grounds of their actions were ignored. No information on the matter was provided to The Aviation Factory or Klasjet. Hence, The Aviation Factory and Klasjet ask Belgium legal bodies, involved in the process, to provide information on the legal basis of such detention.
For long years the team was transported to matches by Brussels Airlines with economy class aircraft. So it’s not a surprise that world-class leading footballers decided to move to an experienced and VIP service-oriented sports teams carrier – KlasJet. As soon as the contract was signed, both KlasJet Airlines and the football team were immediately placed under immense pressure from various Belgium authorities.
Based on La Libre Belgique publications, the attacks are also supported by Brussels Airport, where Brussels Airlines is based, as the contract was lost by both the airport and the Belgian national carrier. It has already been previously stated in the media, that Brussels Airport is unwilling to let this contract go and plans to fight for it, apparently, no matter the cost. It’s worth mentioning that due to the fact that the Brussels Airport VIP terminal can only support small aircraft, Charleroi Airport was chosen as the new airport for the Red Devils team’s transportation, where the VIP terminal can support larger luxury aircraft.
The FIFA top-ranked team has also been receiving immense coordinated pressure via social media, urging them to return to an all-economy seats Brussels Airlines aircraft with the basic in-flight services provided.
The Aviation Factory (the broker who arranged the deal between the Royal Belgian Football Association and KlasJet) and KlasJet urge the public and media to follow this story of an unfair fight. Such dirty tactics and actions suggest that such actions of Belgian authorities are not that far from the techniques used by the authoritarian Belarusian regime disregarding the international aviation regulation and human rights.
Despite all the difficulties encountered in Belgium, KlasJet is committed to providing top-class service for its passengers. The airline stands together with Belgian football fans to support their team, the Red Devils and look forward to transporting them as the new UEFA EURO 2020 champions.
Vilnius – Charleroi, 1 July 2021
This statement of KlasJet relayed by The Aviation Factory is disputed by Belgian authorities:
- “There is certainly a problem of false independence and illegal subcontracting” within the Lithuanian airline Klasjet, said Charles-Eric Clesse, Charleroi labour auditor, to the Belga press agency, after two operations to check the cabin crew and the pilots of the plane carrying the Belgian national football team. The crew belong to a Dubai-based company. These findings will be denounced and transmitted to the Lithuanian judicial and social authorities.
- During the latest check, the four members of the cabin crew and the two pilots were heard for three hours. Their cell phones were seized, as with any hearing, to prevent them from being able to communicate with each other, but they were not deprived of their freedoms and interpreters were present. All were heard as witnesses, which does not require the assistance of a lawyer.
- There will no longer be such controls, says Charles-Eric Clesse. “We found the offences and passed them on to the Lithuanian authorities. We are no longer competent for the rest.”