Belgian airspace below 24,500 feet closed between 09:30 and 13:00 due to skeyes air traffic controllers actions


This morning 16 May between 09:30 and 13:00 (UTC +2), Belgian airspace below 24,500 feet will be closed (again) as air traffic controllers – and all their other colleagues – working at skeyes want to jointly attend an information meeting with their management. At least 60 flights have been cancelled thus far.

The management of skeyes says that it had invited the air traffic controllers to explain the social agreement that was concluded last Friday. For this, they were allowed to stop by from 10:00 to 19:00 and during breaks so that everyone had the opportunity to get the necessary explanation at the most suitable time without having to interrupt the service.

When the management established that actions were being taken to affect air traffic because of these meetings, they were forced to cancel them.

Any further actions will be considered as wildcat strikes.

The management calls on everyone to keep calm and maintains the intention to provide air traffic controllers and all other staff members with an explanation of the social agreement.

An air traffic controller writes his view in our forums: “The initial email called of the COO for everyone to be there so they could explain the ‘agreement’. However, 10h00 is a busy time to work, so a lot of people wouldn’t be able to attend anyway. And even for those in break, attending isn’t obvious, since you’re supposed to become back refreshed from a break, not super annoyed with management.”

“So, unions called for everyone to attend (also from other units and other services such as technicians, meteo, administrative staff) and put down a strike notice to allow people to attend.”

“Yesterday, management changed their mind and decided to talk to people in small groups. We are against that, since we want to be united and all have the right to the same explanation, listening to other people’s questions. So we all were going to attend at 10h.”

“Then, management clearly got scared and they cancelled the meeting. I don’t know if they were hoping people would then just keep working, but all they’re doing is making people angrier.

Brussels Airport volunteers and crew are present to help passengers and are distributing water and snacks.

Brussels Airlines responded on today’s disruptions: “Due to unannounced social actions at Belgian air traffic controller Skeyes, we are unfortunately forced to cancel part of our flight schedule on 16 May. We are currently working on revising today’s flight planning and we will give an update on the situation as soon as more information becomes available. We deeply regret the impact this has on our customers. Please check the status of your flight before going to the airport

Brussels Airlines estimates the impact of skeyes strikes at 4 million euros.

From:16 MAY 19 07:30 Till:16 MAY 19 11:00

Departure information for this morning, Brussels Airlines is the most affected customer at Brussels Airport, Ryanair is cancelling at least three flights at Brussels South Charleroi airport.




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