One in five flights cancelled as baggage handlers’ strike enters third day

The strike by baggage handlers that are employed by Aviapartner at Zaventem Airport, near Brussels has entered its third day. One in five flights due to leave the airport today has been cancelled due to the strike although this could increase as the day goes on. With the start of the half term school holidays more passengers than normally are hoping to fly out of Zaventem this weekend.     

Of the 550 flights scheduled to take off from Zaventem today, 110 have been cancelled. The decision to cancel the flights was taken on Friday in order to allow airlines the time to inform their passengers, so avoiding them coming to the airport for no reason.

On Friday dozens of stranded passengers spent the night in the airport’s departure hall.

VRT News reporter Joppe Matyn told Flandersnews.be that "It is the same picture as yesterday. The departure lounge is crammed full and there are many cancelled flights on the departure board.”  

"Many passengers contacted their airlines yesterday. Often they were told to come to the Zaventem airport because the airlines would bus them to alternative airports. This means that as many people as possible will be able to depart”.    

The strike will continue until 6am on Sunday at the earliest.  

Meanwhile, management and the unions are back around the table to try and find a solution to the issues of short staffing and excess pressure of work that are at the root of the strike. Both parts have issued press statements expressing a will to find a speedy resolution to the dispute.  

Those planning to fly out of Zaventem this weekend are advised to check their airline’s website before leaving for the airport.