British Airways apologises for failure to use Dutch

The UK flag carrier British Airways has apologised for a failure to use Dutch when landing at Brussels Airport after the matter was raised in the Flemish Parliament.

Lawmaker Lieve Maes complained that some airlines failed to make on-board announcements in Dutch even though this was the official language at the airport and the language spoken by many clients. She cited the example of a British Airways' flight on which only announcements in English and French could be heard. The airline has meanwhile apologised for the incident and says that it was due to a technical fault. "Normally we use English, French and Dutch" a British Airways spokesperson told the Brussels news website Brusselnieuws.

Lieve Maes continued: "I can't recall ever landing at an airport where the local language was not used."

Flemish Mobility Minister Ben Weyts insisted that commercially-speaking it wasn’t very sensible not to use the local language, but had to concede the matter fell under the freedom of language guaranteed under the Belgian Constitution as the matter of the language used on board planes taking off and landing is not regulated by law, something he somewhat regretted.

"It's all up to the good will of the airlines" Brusselnieuws quotes the minister as saying.