Aviapartner strike at Brussels Airport to enter day five on Monday

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Brussels Airport’s famous departure board in better times. © Ivan Coninx

It’s highly uncertain when handling agent Aviapartner will resume operations at Brussels Airport as day-long negotiations on Friday, Saturday and Sunday have ended without any result. Saturday night, the Aviapartner management called for a conciliation meeting on Sunday given the urgency of the situation but that meeting ended without any progress. Since Thursday, at least 500 flights have been cancelled, affecting 63,000 passengers. Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist has called all parties to suspend the strike “as soon as possible“.

According to the unions, the conflict already started back in January: “the commitments made at the time were not complied with“, the management disputes this. On Sunday, discussions resumed at the premises of the Belgian Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue in Brussels, but ended without agreement.

Meanwhile, Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist has called all parties to suspend the strike. He asks both management and unions for an extra effort to reach an agreement as soon as possible. “Not only the fact that 63,000 passengers have been affected by the strike, but also the airport itself is suffering from serious ‘reputational damage’“, Feist added.

Since Thursday evening, more than 500 cancelled flights and 63,000 passengers that are not able to leave on holiday or return to Belgium“, said Feist to public broadcast RTBF, “I am not saying who is right or wrong, but it’s time to end the strike.

On Monday, holiday airline TUI Fly Belgium will divert two flights: one flight to Brussels South Charleroi Airport and another flight to Amsterdam. Passengers will be coached towards these two airports (and back to Brussels Airport). Nine TUI flights have been scheduled to depart from Brussels Airport where own TUI staff will (un)load the aircraft. The airline confirmed to Aviation24.be that they are taking all the appropriate measures to bring its passengers to their final destination as swiftly as possible.

Brussels Airlines, Brussels Airport’s biggest customer, is not affected by the actions as their flights are handled by Swissport.

At Brussels Airport, Aviapartner handles Aegean Airlines, Aer Lingus, Air Baltic, Air Europa, Air Serbia, Air Transat, All Nippon Airways, BMI Regional, British Airways, CSA Czech Airlines, Easyjet, El Al, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, FlyEgypt, HOP Airlines, Iberia, KLM, Meridiana Fly, Nouvelair, Onur Air, Pegasus Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Ryanair, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Sun Express, TAP Portugal, Transavia, TUIfly, Tunisair, Turkish Airlines, Vueling.

Meanwhile, Brussels Airport urges passengers to check if their airline is handled by Aviapartner, in that case the airport asks passengers to travel “handluggage only“.

If you have questions and comments don’t hesitate to use our forum discussion, that has been started @ 25-26-27-28-29/10/2018 Aviapartner strike at Brussels Airport

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