Strike partially closes Brussels airport leaving thousands stranded

Brussels airport - cc nicolas economou

A last-minute strike by security personnel has forced the partial closure of Brussels airport leaving thousands stranded.

The strike, which began on June 20, resulted in the cancellation of all departing flights with only incoming and cargo flights being handled.

Because the strike was only announced late on Sunday evening few passengers were aware that flights had been cancelled leaving more than 70, 000 people stranded and in limbo. According to Belgian broadcaster “ RTL Info  many people gathered at the airport on Monday morning, with some not having heard that there was a strike and others simply trying their luck.

An airport spokesperson who appeared on RTL appealed to passengers to stay away from the airport and to contact their airline who would either help them rebook or obtain a refund.

Some airlines aware of the changes were quick to put in alternate plans, among those Lufthansa who rebooked all their Brussels flights to Oostende, Antwerp and Liège.

The unions who called the strike, want the government to change the Belgian wage law which they believe does not allow for sufficient wage adjustments. Like those elsewhere in the world, the union is calling for increases that more accurately reflect the high cost of living increases seen this year.

Norwegian aviation technicians have also been out on strike, however, the impact has been minimal with only a few flights affected. Delays are, however, being experienced.

The strike that has partially closed Brussels airport comes on the same day that airports around Europe announce reduce flight numbers over the summer, in an effort to reduce delays and cancellations.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]