Staff shortage caused air traffic disruption on Friday night

Hardly any planes were able to land or take off from Belgian airports between 11pm and Friday and 6am. The company in charge of air traffic control in the skies above Belgium Skeyes didn’t have enough staff to maintain a full service. 

A number of air traffic controllers had called in sick and Skeyes was unable to find sufficient staff to replace them.    

As most passenger flights don’t take off under after 6am there was little disruption to passengers. A number of Brussels Airlines flights were able to land between 11pm and midnight. However, one Aeroflot flight was cancelled.

An number of flights from Africa were delayed so that they were able to land after 6am. Air cargo services were also hit with between 10 and 15 cargo planes remaining on the ground.

Skeyes tried to find replacements for those that had phoned in sick. However, trade union sources say that the company was unable to do so. There has been tension between the unions and management at Skeyes for some time. Bones of contention are rules for those wishing to take career breaks, appointments and bonuses.