A strike of about 80,000 demonstrators, according to estimates by the Belgian police, caused the cancellation of all flights from Brussels to international destinations, causing frustration for travelers.
The airport was forced to cancel flights as most security staff joined the strike in order to improve wages as rising inflation affected the purchasing power of workers, TheSchengen.com reports.
A total of 232 flights scheduled to operate on Monday were canceled as Brussels Airport informed passengers on its website and social media, while only a quarter of incoming flights were operating. Fortunately, freight traffic remained unaffected.
Due to the strike on Monday 20 June and the lack of security personnel at G4S, there will be no passenger flights leaving Brussels Airport tomorrow to ensure the safety of passengers and staff. We urge passengers not to go to the airport on Monday. Brussels Airport wrote on social media on June 19: Arrival flights will be preserved.
The airport also warned that large numbers of passengers are expected to arrive on Tuesday and Wednesday due to the cancellations that occurred on Monday.
While passengers missed the notice, there were about 100 passengers inside, some seeking to change tickets or request a refund while others sat on the seats or slept on the floor.
Ukrainian merchant navigator, Oleksandr Zaikin, said he could not be reunited with his wife in Istanbul because of the strike.
“I am upset,” the 29-year-old said, adding that he would now likely find a hotel in Brussels for a few days. In Ukraine, this is not the norm. We do not have such strikes. But I really respect that people do that.”
In an effort to help Belgian tour operators, German travel group TUI arranged to take off flights that were scheduled to depart from Brussels from some regional airports within Belgium.
The three main unions have called for a national strike in Belgium in pursuit of higher salaries as inflation has raised the cost of living in recent months. A demonstration was scheduled for later Monday in central Brussels, with unions expecting as many as 70-80,000 people to take their frustrations out onto the streets.
This is not the first time in recent years that Brussels Airport has canceled flights; In November of 2021, 100 passengers missed their flights due to a strike by security guards, as workers continued to do their jobs but performed slower and exercised greater checks on passengers, baggage and passengers. documents, which leads to delays in security and customs inspections.