Brussels Airlines: a Flemish company?

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sean1982
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by sean1982 »

lumumba wrote:
sean1982 wrote:Last time I checked BRU is in the flemish region. As you expect everyone to be bi-lingual. Start with being bi-lingual yourself then? Merci :) dank u wel :)
I realy don't like the way you are ?!?!?
First Brussels Airport is a NATIONAL AIrport everything must be in 2 languages at least that's the law.
And I speak 4 languages and Dutch is my mother tongue ....


If people in Belgium would be less anal about language (including politicians) its would a lot less of a problem. The only people that I know that have a "problem" with the opposite language are people that done know it :) I dont mind if somebody speaks french in antwerp, I will reply in french. But please reply in dutch than when I visit liege as well ;)
Last edited by sean1982 on 15 Feb 2016, 09:51, edited 1 time in total.

SabenaForever
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by SabenaForever »

What are we discussing? :roll: Brussels Airlines is a Belgian company! So what is all the fuss about... As far as i know all the regions are represented... Are we going political here or what??

mrx161
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by mrx161 »

I agree on the fact that most of the SN people you meet when you fly are Flemish, but as it has been said, they don't have any problem to answer in French too. So I'm okay with that.

The only issue I had with languages was on the Duty Free shop in the airport. When you arrive at the check out desk, the woman said "Goeiedag" to me, I answered "Bonjour", she just said "we don't speak french in this airport"... Okay, politically, the airport is in the proud Vlaanderen, but it seems to me that the name is still "Brussels" Airport, and not Zaventem Airport...

And I say that as Walloon living in Vlaanderen, 4 languages capable ;-)

Another issue with languages, and again, totally political... In the train, the guard has two options : He can announce the arrival at the airport in NL (legal obligation because of the geographical situation of the airport), and if he wants to do it in FR, he has to make it in the 4 languages... So what the most Flemish guards do is to announce only in NL... And then you see all the English talking passengers that are completely lost in the train... I think the Belgian languages law has to be changed... Every Belgian should at least talk FR + NL, but yeah, that's utopic ! But also logical... I understand that the youth from South Belgium doesn't give a damn about a old farmers language that's only talked in 2 countries and in the Dutch Antilles... and prefer to learn English...

But the solution is not what the politicians are trying to do... Turning everyone against each other will not change our little troublemaker country ;)

Passenger
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by Passenger »

Poiu wrote:The only reason why the majority of cabin crew is Flemish is because of the requirement to speak three languages. Language skills are generally better in the north than in the south.
Indeed. That's the main requirement for a job with client contact: to speak the language of the client. Second requirement: to live not too far away from the airport. For both requirements, Flemish people qualify better. Location: BRU is located in the Flemish Region. Language: Flemish people are told from their first day at school that Dutch isn't a language that is spoken worldwide, hence we have to learn French (as second language), English (as third language) and German (as fourth language).

Brussels Airlines presents itself as a Belgian bi-langual airline. May I remind some to the two leading positions within Brussels Airlines? President of the Board: Etienne Davignon. Native language FR (no problem with that - he speaks Dutch with French accent on Flemish tv). Chief Executive Officer: Bernard Gustin. Native language FR (no problem with that - speaks Dutch with French accent on Flemish tv)
Acid-drop wrote:I'm in BRU this morning : 100% flemish so far. Airport staff, not SN (I avoid flying SN)
I was in CRL few months ago: 100% walloon (I avoid flying... yep).

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YYZ727
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by YYZ727 »

[quote="Stij]
I don't conclude that from YYZ727's comment. I conclude he's indifferent where they come from.[/quote]

That is indeed what was meant by my comment.

sean1982
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by sean1982 »

I've always been helped in dutch in CRL, so that BS.
LGG is another story

b-west

Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by b-west »

mrx161 wrote: The only issue I had with languages was on the Duty Free shop in the airport. When you arrive at the check out desk, the woman said "Goeiedag" to me, I answered "Bonjour", she just said "we don't speak french in this airport"... Okay, politically, the airport is in the proud Vlaanderen, but it seems to me that the name is still "Brussels" Airport, and not Zaventem Airport...
Really? What store was that? Not that I don't believe you (there are idiots like that everywhere) but it surprises me, as I've found a lot of the staff at the tax free shops being the exact opposite, French speaking with at best a rudimentary grasp of the Dutch language. (and I've had to endure quite some nasty looks for daring to speak Dutch).

In an ideal situation, all Belgians would indeed be bi-lingual. But due to historic reasons this is wishful thinking. On both sides of the linguistic border there are scores of closeted-minded people who think speaking the other language is nothing short of treason. And our education system isn't helping too much either. I would love to see total immersion classes, on both sides of our country, it would only aid in a better mutual understanding.

As I started my career in Brussels, I was lucky enough to become rather fluent in French, but it still irks me when in Flanders I get adressed in French, without so much as an "parlez-vous Français?". I don't think it's done in bad faith, it's probably more due to the thought that has been instilled that Belgium is/should be French speaking, no matter where you are.

It has certainly worked for the Brits, who beg me for mercy all the time at the airport. Took me a while to figure out they were trying to say "merci".

As for me, I'm perfectly happy to speak French in Wallonia, it's a sign of respect for my country and my compatriots. I even try my hand at German in Ost Belgien, even though I fear my attempts at the German language are laughable at best ;)

jan_olieslagers
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by jan_olieslagers »

Brussels Airport is a NATIONAL AIrport
Forget about "NATIONAL", that concept was invented in the 18th century, grew strong in the 19th, and died in the 20th (except for some banana republics). Today EBBR/BRU is an airport like any other airport and it happens to be on territory that is (constitutionally!) Flemish. So the Flemish laws and rules apply. It doesn't get any simpler.

That said, I fully agree that we shouldn't get carried away with a sneer from a politician.

Stij
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by Stij »

May I round up and get airborne again before the runway is finished and we end up in the grass?

Brussels Airlines is a Belgian company. Brussels Airport is a Belgian airport.
Most front end staff are Flemish because the language skills are better in Flanders.
Most of the time you;re helped at the airport / airline in the language of your choice, but there are always a few idiots who refuse.
Belgium has a few stupid language laws.

Cheers,

Stij

sean1982
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by sean1982 »

b-west wrote: In an ideal situation, all Belgians would indeed be bi-lingual. But due to historic reasons this is wishful thinking. On both sides of the linguistic border there are scores of closeted-minded people who think speaking the other language is nothing short of treason. And our education system isn't helping too much either. I would love to see total immersion classes, on both sides of our country, it would only aid in a better mutual understanding.
Very true. As a child I went to a college in my hometown where we had an annual singing fest that would always end with all classes singing: lied van mijn land en the vlaamse leeuw, while the gym teacher was doing some flag waving with a flemish flag. :roll:

As a child you dont realise the indoctrination, as an adult I know better ;)

b-west

Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by b-west »

jan_olieslagers wrote:Forget about "NATIONAL", that concept was invented in the 18th century, grew strong in the 19th, and died in the 20th. Today EBBR/BRU is an airport like any other airport and it happens to be on territory that is (constitutionally!) Flemish. So the Flemish laws and rules apply. It doesn't get any simpler.

That said, I fully agree that we shouldn't get carried away with a sneer from a politician.
Well, Flemish, Belgian and European laws apply. But the term "national airport" indeed is just that, a name.

Also, I don't know the exact ownership of BAC, but haven't they been privatised? As such, they pretty much can do what they want. The strict language laws in Belgium apply to the government, but individuals and companies can choose whatever language they prefer to communicate in. That's also probably the reason why every sign at the airport used to be in Dutch first, followed by the three other languages, obeying to the laws when the airport was still government run, but since a few years, English takes the first spot on the signage, most of the times, but not always, followed by NL, FR & DE. And the announcements over the speakers are now no longer in four languages, but instead the airlines choose which language to play. So it's quite possible to hear a boarding announcement in English and Arabic only. (probably giving the flemish nationalists and the FN fans something to both be upset about, bien étonnés de se trouver ensemble...)
Last edited by b-west on 15 Feb 2016, 10:37, edited 2 times in total.

Acid-drop
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by Acid-drop »

Some people in some store speak only their language its a fact. No problem. The stupidity is coming when anyone _expect_ something. Why would all staff speak the local dialiect of the client, lets be serious.

Yes you can find some flemish speaking people in charleroi or helsinki. Good for you. But who cares seriously.

Keep calm and speak english :)
My messages reflect my personal opinion which may be different than yours. I beleive a forum is made to create a debate so I encourage people to express themselves, the way they want, with the ideas they want. I expect the same understanding in return.

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lumumba
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by lumumba »

jan_olieslagers wrote:
Brussels Airport is a NATIONAL AIrport
Forget about "NATIONAL", that concept was invented in the 18th century, grew strong in the 19th, and died in the 20th (except for some banana republics). Today EBBR/BRU is an airport like any other airport and it happens to be on territory that is (constitutionally!) Flemish. So the Flemish laws and rules apply. It doesn't get any simpler.

That said, I fully agree that we shouldn't get carried away with a sneer from a politician.
I don't think that's correct I realy think it has to be at least bilingual like some regions around Brussels.
But I'm not 100% sure.
Hasta la victoria siempre.

koninckske
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by koninckske »

pointless discussion... If I read all this I understand why we sometimes go nowhere in Belgium. Talking endless about things that are not adding any value to a country and do nothing...

Stupid remark from a politician leading to a stupid discussionon here. I would be far better if we would just ingore some things what politicians say and just try to live together.

Inquirer
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by Inquirer »

Aren't we discussing this article as if there's a big elephant in the room?
The main news I take home from it is that the Walloon region is agreeing to sell their minority share holding in the biggest Belgian airlines.

Regardless whether they can even refuse to sell -given they have already agreed to giving a call option first (maybe they can under certain strategic conditions?)- the fact they communicate about their intentions leads me to think they have well been informed about such a sale through the call option, at least informally. After all the recent rumours, to me this is yet another clear sign Lufthansa things are happing behind the scenes and they will indeed very likely call the option to buy the remaining shares, soon.

The dubious comments by the Walloon minister and which are discussed above may just be seen as a political justification for their upcoming U-turn, because people could ask themselves why the strategic interests which firmly laid at the basis of their shareholding some 15 years ago are suddenly no longer deemed valid today, and then it's always more convenient to be able to say it's just a 'flemish company', rather than to say you can very well use the cash of course.

Other than that, I agree with all that has been said above: it may come as somewhat of a surprise to some people living in the South of our country, but Belgium is a predominantly 'Northern European country' by all means: one should remember rouhgly 60% of its population speaks Dutch, 70% of its GDP is generated in the Northern part of the country and 80% of its export is generated in Flanders.
Any business-oriented company in Belgium will thus automatically be oriented towards this community if it is allowed to let the demografic and economic realities play their full role. Be it Brussels Airlines, or Proximus to give just one example, you will always see the same phenomenon in the end, and logically so: it really takes constant political interference like at the SNCB/NMBS to have a commercial company uphold perfect parity, but then I don't know you'd want our national airline to resemble our railway company!?
In fact, I find it remarkable to see how despite all of this, so many native French speaking people are actually employed by them too, something which is indicative of both their appeal as a private employer -not just in Brussels but probably also deep inside Wallonia even-, as well as showing that daily commuting to Flanders can boost the Walloon economy too, provided its people are willing to travel a bit for work and have the competences to come and fill the jobs up for graps in Flanders.
Rather than spend billions on endless subsidies and yet another Marchal plan to build economic activity in the own backyard, Wallonia might better spend just a fraction of that money on improved education and mobility for much quicker and bigger financial and economic gains in fact.
But of course, politicians need to get elected and for that, they need to be seen to create jobs in their very own tiny constituency: helping people to jobs in another constituency next door is deemed the lesser good by them, even if it may very well be the best option from an economic and financial point of view.

flightlover
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by flightlover »

Well working at the airport I try to speak 4 languages. Much appreciated by the German French and English lorry drivers that call on me to be loaded or unloaded. However I often get offended by the automatic 'je comprend pas' I get when talking Dutch to drivers living in the Brussels region. If that's not enough it are those people moving to Flanders refusing to speak Dutch as well.

And then one get's amazed by the hostile feelings against those people....

RTM
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by RTM »

Pointless discussion indeed... The statement that SN is a Flemish company is close to stupidity, and is just an attempt of a politician to get some attention. And we are giving it to him... :roll:

But, in the end, I think that the endless bitching in Belgium between north and south should stop. Please turn the diversity into an asset rather then a problem, issue, hindrance, excuse or whatever.
Ever wondered why the taxes in Belgium are so rediculously high? How many governments and politicians can a little country finance without busting the bank...? Just axe 80% of the political system, and stick with just one federal government. Everybody the same, and the taxes can go down all over. Talk about leveling the playingfield towards the Irish... Just an example...
And please RESPECT eachother. If a Walloon native enters Flanders, speak Dutch, and vice versa, if a Flemish native enters Walloon, speak French. You don't have to be fluent, but just show respect, and you will receive it right back.

So please stop the political bitching on this forum, and stick to aviation related topics...

convair
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by convair »

RTM wrote:Pointless discussion indeed... The statement that SN is a Flemish company is close to stupidity, and is just an attempt of a politician to get some attention. And we are giving it to him... :roll:

But, in the end, I think that the endless bitching in Belgium between north and south should stop. Please turn the diversity into an asset rather then a problem, issue, hindrance, excuse or whatever.
Ever wondered why the taxes in Belgium are so rediculously high? How many governments and politicians can a little country finance without busting the bank...? Just axe 80% of the political system, and stick with just one federal government. Everybody the same, and the taxes can go down all over. Talk about leveling the playingfield towards the Irish... Just an example...
And please RESPECT eachother. If a Walloon native enters Flanders, speak Dutch, and vice versa, if a Flemish native enters Walloon, speak French. You don't have to be fluent, but just show respect, and you will receive it right back.

So please stop the political bitching on this forum, and stick to aviation related topics...
Agree 100%.
And, back to aviation, please...

sean1982
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by sean1982 »

when discussing belgian airlines or airports it IS part of the aviation discussion, whether you like it or not :) Interestingly, one of my (flemish) friends who's cabin crew at SN says he finds the company to be pre-dominantly french speaking. At least in the higher positions in the company.

Passenger
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Re: Brussels Airlines a Flemish company?

Post by Passenger »

lumumba wrote:
jan_olieslagers wrote:
Brussels Airport is a NATIONAL AIrport
Forget about "NATIONAL", that concept was invented in the 18th century, grew strong in the 19th, and died in the 20th (except for some banana republics). Today EBBR/BRU is an airport like any other airport and it happens to be on territory that is (constitutionally!) Flemish. So the Flemish laws and rules apply. It doesn't get any simpler. That said, I fully agree that we shouldn't get carried away with a sneer from a politician.
I don't think that's correct I realy think it has to be at least bilingual like some regions around Brussels.
But I'm not 100% sure.
Like jan olieslagers said: Brussels Airport is on Flemish territory, hence Flemish laws and rules apply.

When the Belgian language law was installed (1963/1970), there was indeed a problem for Brussels Airport. Language legislation obliges that official communication from a public authority to the public is done in the language of the community only (NL in Flanders, FR in Wallonia, FR and/or NL in Brussels Capital Region. The Flemish Parliament then accepted a law (a decreet) that communication at Brussels Airport may differ from the general rule: it may be in NL, or NL/FR, or EN/NL/FR or even EN/NL/FR/DE. Hence the multi-langual announcements at Brussels Airport.

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