150 flights cancelled as baggage handlers’ strike 

The strike by baggage handlers working for Aviapartner at Zaventem Airport near Brussels has entered its second day. The strike started at 5:30 on Thursday evening when the baggage handlers downed tools in protest at staffing shortages. A total of 53 flights were cancelled as a result of the action on Thursday evening. by 3pm a further 150 flights had been cancelled on Friday.

Hundreds of passengers were forced to spend the night at the airport as a result. The airport authorities installed camp beds in the terminal.  By 3pm 150 flights to or from the airport had been cancelled.  

The action has led to big queues at the check-in desks of airlines that work with AVIA partners, including EasyJet; Ryanair, British Airways and TUIfly has diverted some of its flights to Charleroi and Liège Airports. Brussels Airlines’ flights are unaffected as its customer’s luggage is processed by Swissport rather than Aviapartner.  

The airport authorities at Zaventem advise passengers to check who will handle their baggage. If this is Aviapartner they should only take hand luggage with them. The unions and management at Aviapartner have been meeting since 10am in an effort to resolve the dispute.  However, as yet no agreement has been reached.